Week in Pop: IZE, Oreo Jones, Sam Vicari, vhs dream

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As our world descends into the throes of uncertainty, Impose’s Week in Pop weaves together the fabrics of hope & promises of a beautiful tomorrow by celebrating just a few of the artists that we love & adore. With our news & social feeds cluttered with clusters of a never ending stream of bleakness, we give you first a quick a rundown of some of the week’s bigggest buzz with word that Danny Brown is evidently putting the “final touches” on his new album; Killer Mike to star in an upcoming show made by Tim & Eric’s production company Abso Lutely; Dev Hynes announced the new album Freetown Sound available July on Domino; Calvin Johnson’s Selector Dub Narcotic debut album This Party is Just Getting Started will be available August 11, & dropped the Red Williamson video for “Hotter than Hott”; Yasiin Bey (fka Mos Def) dropped “Dec 99th – Local Time”; Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton declared June 7 as “Prince Day” on the artist’s birthday; The Descendents new album Hypercaffum Spazzinate will be available July 29 from Epitaph; & dropped “Victim Of Me”; Snoop Dogg & Wiz Khalifa dropped the single “Kush Ups” off the upcoming COOLAID album; Liars will perform their soundtrack for the film 1/1 at Berlin’s Pop-Kultur festival; DJ Shadow dropped “Bergschrund,” a collaboration with Nils Frahm off The Mountain Will Fall available June 24 from Mass Appeal; Bat For Lashes dropped “Joes Dream” off The Bride; Arca covered Crystal Castles’ “Doe Deer” at Tokyo’s Taico Club Festival; The Kills covered Rihanna’s “Desperado”; D∆WN (aka Dawn Richard) dropped “Serpentine Fire”; Sleigh Bells dropped “Rule Number One”; Local Natives dropped the track “Villainy” off upcoming untitled third album; X’s John Doe dropped the Dave Doobinin video for “A Little Help” off the album The Westerner; Radiohead’s relationship with Spotify appears to be thawing; G-Eazy & Jeremih dropped “Saw It Coming” off the upcoming new Ghostbusters film; Animal Collective’s Deakin designed a show for LA vegan shoe company Keep; the TV show “Nashville” has been picked up for a fifth season; Four Tet dropped “Jindabyne” remix, & dissed Soundcloud; Gawker Media filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy; Beyoncé sued by Matthew Fulks claiming Lemonade lifts from his short Palinoia; Rihanna & Jay Z sued for Nigeria concert from 2013 that never happened; Northside Festival dropped a band over their support for the reviled Stanford swimmer Brock Allen Turner; Prince’s The Black Album sold for $15,000 on Discogs; lament the passing of my mother Lori Lynne Gompers; & we continue to mourn the loss of Muhammad Ali.

Looking forward with high hopes & great zeal, it is our pleasure & privilege to present the following breaking exclusives, interview, insights, & media from IZE, Oreo Jones, Ranch Ghost, Sam Humans, Sam Vicari, vhs dream, Casinos, Cities Aviv, Good Looking Friends, O.C.D., Ravi Shavi, Robert Lippok, featuring guest selections by Gigi Masin & Tempelhof, and more—in no particular order.

Oreo Jones

Catching up & getting to know the one & only, Oreo Jones; press photo courtesy of the artist.
Catching up & getting to know the one & only, Oreo Jones; press photo courtesy of the artist.

Oreo Jones has been a rising phenomenon in the Midwest circuits, something of a word of mouth artist who is now finally getting to his deserved, proper due. Hot on the heels of his recent release Cash For Gold released last month on Rad Summer / Holy Infinite Freedom Revival; Jones rises up higher than the hype surrounding the latest contender to challenge the norms of hip hop by breaking into new heights of arrangement, production, & delivery. “Cash For Gold is a nod to those ubiquitous pawnshops signs that seem to blot every poor and working class inner city neighborhood. The signs entice people to turn over their most valued treasures for a quick hit of cash they so desperately need,” Jones explained in a recent article describing the meaning behind the title of his opus. “On the contrary I look at it as finding wealth in memories, experiences, family, and life. That is the story of this record. Everyone has potential to become the wealthiest person in the planet.”

The Rachel Lowe video for Oreo Jones’ “Barcelona” ft. Miss Mess provides some pure summer heat visuals to compliment the sun-psych production from Harry Otaku & Jones’ delivery. Oreo’s own Spanish holiday dreams imagines a vacation spent by the beach, piers, palm trees, surrounded by beautiful people, sipping a piña colada and soaking in the most luxurious vibes that match Otaku’s wave-winding beat & Miss Mess’s affectionate vocal sample loop. Rachel Lowe’s video blends together what looks like department of tourism type of montages the involve bikini clad swimmers, big splashes, underwater adventures, poses & sailboats aplenty, while swimmers and jet skiers ride in time to the Oreo Jones movement. The visuals conclude with a traditional Spanish dancer showing off some fancy moves, until an old school aerial shot ends the visual affair with cinematic ‘fin’ displayed for good measure.

The Cash For Gold adventures sets out with the synthesizer seekers heard on “Goldust” that encase Oreo Jones’ delivery within a crystallized goldmine of gold bricks, jewels, & rubies. These decadent and opulent palaces are explored further on “Menagerie” ft. KO that name checks Metta World Peace & Harry Houdini all in a couplet that mixes together elements & modes of the modern & vintage, before flipping your mind inside out on “Wildrice for Landon Caldwell” with refrains of, “I’m at the Golden Gate Bridge & I’m spinning like a ceiling fan” where here the entire world suddenly feels like a psychotropic carousel. Jones keeps his own consciousness drifting & shifting all throughout the album with the “Mud” baptismal that spills out some tears & solemn worded tales about real struggle from a single mother trying to keep everyone fed, to the feelings & moods felt by her son trying to figure out their place in the world’s complicated landscapes. The mood switches to the thrills of “Coogi Sweater” that includes chorus bars like “my chain keeps falling in my milkshake,” to Street Fighter II pass times, to the hard hitting deep trap drop of “Caravaggio” ft. Flaco’s verse about living that caviar dream-life.

That good life only gets better as “Barcelona” brings something wavy that will inspire you to fly oversees, to the fashionable travels of Oreo Jones & his “Wide Brim Hat” ft. Sedcairn Archives. Giving a shout out to his hometown “Indianapolis” with an auto-tuned interlude, “Murder Shrine Balloons” ft. J Hex brings about cathedral like fervent reverence, & passion presented by J’s delivery & Jones requiem for “the good ol’ days.” Fleetwood Mac fixations play out in the lifestyles of the rich & famous as Jonesy boasts about chilling at “Stevie Nicks House”, paying tribute with the super smooth synth-saturation of “The Honorable Uncle Phil”, counting that money in the bank paper on the swagger & high end swank of “Sufficient Funds” ft. Sirius Blvck (that even includes a shout out to Warren Buffett). Film reels spin like wheels in the minds on the celluloid twist of “35mm” ft. Miss Mess, before pushing into Cities Aviv territory on the celestial & surreal “Fholston Paradise”, right before the ticket to paradise takes you to the closing “Swan Song” ft. John Stamps that closes up shop waxing more about that good life with a “take me to Disneyland” refrain that presents our multi-disciplined artist in a celebratory-but subdued mode as if he just won the Super Bowl. Join as after the following listen to Cash For Gold for an insightful interview with Oreo Jones.

Tell us what is the latest & most amazing about Indianapolis as of late.

Indianapolis is super intriguing to me. I feel like all the musicians are finally carving out their identity through their art. When I first moved here it seemed like everyone that I met would tell me they are from California, or New York, or Chicago. No one wanted to identify with the city here. Fast forward to the past few years, artist and musicians have been embracing the amazingness of Indianapolis. The hip hop community is on the cusp of great things, DIY culture is flourishing, and seemingly the value of local art and music is slowly but surely being appreciated for what its worth. Ohh and its smells good in the summer too.

How do your local surroundings impact & influence your own skills as an artist?

I live in Fountain Square. It mirrors millions of low income freshly gentrified neighborhoods all over the country. When I first moved here musicians seemed to live in every other house on the block. You could walk in and out of band practices in session and it was the holy mecca of house shows. It’s currently loosing that dirty sheen that was so captivating to me. When I create I draw from surrounding influences, stories, artists, experiences, they all come into play. Its give and take but I’m happy to call this place my home.

Tell us what’s good on your new Cooking Show!.

We Just wrapped up our 420 episode with Nathan Arizona. We made Merle Haggard Mac n Cheese and some slow Faygo sodas. I almost had an anxiety attack because I was so high. You should check out the show on your local Youtube Listings. We have a crew of some of the best artist in the city that help me create some cool stuff

Oreo Jones & the cool cats; press photo.
Oreo Jones & the cool cats; press photo.

Interested too in hearing your thoughts on the Rachel Lowe image arranged video for “Barcelona” ft. Miss Mess.

I met Rachel at Sam’s Silver Circle (a dive bar here in the neighborhood) and she told me she likes to make music videos. She has a great eye and direction with all the found footage she picks up. I still love the way people are creating stuff with old analog footage. It’s the nostalgia and overall vibe that makes it so appealing to me. Barcelona is a song about escaping and leaving to your own paradise and i believe Rachel helped harness that in the video.

What was the making of the Cash For Gold album like for you? What did you learn? What sorts of breakthroughs about yourself did you discover?

Before I start working on new material I always make sure I push myself out of the comfort zone. I try experimenting with new sounds and I listen to a lot of different music. I think its important for me to work with other artists outside of hip hop. Working with Jilly from We Are Hex, Landon Caldwell from Creeping Pink/BurntOnes, Kristen Newborn, Miss Mess, and Sedcairn Archives was a real treasure because they all bring something different from their own side of the spectrum. Its wild seeing/hearing that and translating that through hip hop.

What else have you been watching/listening to/reading a lot of lately?

WOW. I’ve been really listening to Suicide lately, specifically the Alan Vega and Martin Rev album, the 1977 self titled record rules too. Belong, Mood Rings, US Girls, weird shoegaze shit. Been feeling Princess Nokia, Nagasaki Dirt, Mathaius Young as far as hip hop. That latest Caribou record is great too!

Right now im reading Revenge of the Lawn by Richard Brautigan. It’s a compilation of short stories from the 60’s real surreal. Whenever im in a weird mood I crack open some Langston Hughes. I’d like to think he’s my god dad.

What’s next for Oreo Jones?

I’m always working too much stuff. I just got an artist residency through Big Car at a sound gallery here in Indy called Listen Hear. I’ll be curating exhibits and booking cool shit for the gallery. I’m working on non hip hop solo project that is more low-fi R&B all live loops and keys through a drum machine. I’m also in a rock n roll band called White Moms who are currently working on a new record. Its Afro Punk/ weird shoegaze. Currently booking a hip hop festival at the end of the summer called CHreece, and last but not least I’m working on the debut record of a hip hop collective im in with Ghost Gun Summer. #summer16

Oreo Jones’ Cash For Gold is available now from Rad Summer / Holy Infinite Freedom Revival.

Sam Vicari

Chicago's Sam Vicari; photographed by Jim Vondruska.
Chicago’s Sam Vicari; photographed by Jim Vondruska.

For everyone who listens to the entire Big Star / Dwight Twilley / Badfinger catalogs every day/week with a religious like fervor/conviction; we could not be more excited & proud to present the big debut of Sam Vicari’s Blunt available July 1 from Sip City Records. Based out of Chicago, Sam works with only the biggest, bravest, boldest, & greatest power chords around to give you a genuine riff fest guaranteed fascinate all for forever. Presenting the debut of the twin titan singles of “Disappearing Sun” & “Can’t Explain”, Vicari brings about the sound of Southern sincere rock with the swagger & sway of the UK guitar pop masters (past & present). For anyone that has ever found themselves falling in love with some of the most evocative chords on the planet, Sam Vicari should be the top artists to check out on the top of all lists for lovers of the greatest and most powerful pop around.

Sam Vicari’s single “Disappearing Sun” is possibly the greatest song that Teenage Fanclub never made. Those genius bars & chords are the kind of thing that would have made Gene Clark weep or would have earned a benediction & blessing by the late DIY godfather Alex Chilton, as Sam Vicari carries on the torch of creating near perfect chord progressions & pop to righteously ring loudly for all time while reciting, “I think I’m ready for the sun to dissappear.” Things get switched to a higher gear on “Can’t Explain” that depicts unequal balances & hunger for power with lines like, “you don’t want to be equal, you want to be the ruler, you don’t want to be peaceful, you’re just an intruder.” From here all involved guitar licks & slamming percussion get turned up to the 10s as the chords take over in a chrome-gilded production that will keep you playing the single on repeat. Vicari takes the conflicts of interest & quests for dominance to the ineffable ether of eternal rock & roll destined to quake, shake, & roll throughout the ages to follow. Sam Vicari joined us for an interview featured after the following debut listen.

What’s good these days in Chicago?

Chicago is good! I feel really fortunate to live in a city that’s so nurturing and supportive towards music. I’ve lived here just over four years now, and I don’t think I’ve even scratched the surface on the abundance of music that’s available here. There’s always new house venues popping up, and most of the people who live in those houses play in bands, too (I used to live in a house that hosted basement shows). I just really love it here. It’s a major metropolitan city, but it still has Midwestern charm.

Interested in hearing how you make such sparkling, crisp chord arrangements on songs like “Disappearing Sun” & “Can’t Explain”.

That is very nice of you to stay, so thank you! I guess when I write, I don’t like to premeditate or overthink song structures. I just let them come out the way they do. I can usually hear the whole melody in my head before I pick up a guitar and try playing it. So, that approach has led me to never overthinking it or considering other ways a song can go.

When I think about the songs I love and grew up with, I’ve always been most impacted by ones with simple structures and simple melodies. Perhaps that leaves more room to convey a message.

Styling with Sam Vicari; press photo courtesy of the artist.
Styling with Sam Vicari; press photo courtesy of the artist.

What about the process of making Blunt. surprised you, or challenged your own notions of song-craft, etc?

We got to record the record at Electrical Audio, which is a ridiculously amazing two-studio building in Chicago, owned by Steve Albini. Greg Norman recorded us. He’s one of the nicest, most relaxed dudes ever. When we were mixing, he used a compressor that belonged to Wilco on my vocals. I geeked out a little.

Since we were going into such a cool studio, I wanted to make sure we were as prepared as possible, so I recorded demos of all the songs and sent them to Adam (Dausch, who played drums) and we practiced them pretty hard together. I’ve found that whenever I record, as much as I try to be prepared, I really never have much of an idea of what the record’s going to sound like. I’m curious if it’s like that for all bands. It surprises me every time. You never really know what your record sounds like until you’re listening to the rough mixes in your car.

Local and not-so local artists that you want to give a shout out to?

Villa Coola. He’s my dear friend from Chicago, but he recently relocated out to LA. Extremely awesome lo-fi acoustic jams. He just put out a new record, all of which he recorded on his iphone in his bathroom. His songs are so good, that’s pretty much all they need!

Summer plans for Sam Vicari?

Right when the record comes out in July, I’m going to do a 4-week US tour. After that, I’ll probably want to eat burritos, drink beer, and nap for 2 weeks. After that, we’ll see!

Catch Sam Vicari on the following tour dates:

05 Des Moines, IA @ Vaudeville Mews
06 Omaha, NE @ Milk Run
07 Denver, CO @ 3 Kings Tavern
08 Provo, UT @ Muse Music
09 Boise, ID @ High Note Cafe
11 Seattle, WA @ Rendezvous
12 Portland, OR @ The Waypost
13 Eugene, OR @ The Wandering Goat
14 Oakland, CA @ Stork Club
15 Los Angeles, CA @ Redwood Bar
16 San Pedro, CA @ Harold’s Place
17 San Diego, CA @ Lestat’s West
18 Scottsdale, AZ @ Rogue Bar
19 Albuquerque, NM @ Burt’s Tiki Lounge
20 Amarillo, TX @ The 806
21 Austin, TX @ Hole in the Wall
23 New Orleans, LA @ Circle Bar
24 Oxford, MS @ The Wall
25 Birmingham, AL @ The Nick
26 Atlanta, GA @ Smith’s Olde Bar
27 Charlotte, NC @ The Milestone
28 Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie
30 New York, NY @ Pianos
31 Hamden, CT @ The Space

01 Cambridge, MA @ Charlie’s Kitchen
02 Pittsburgh, PA @ Howler’s Coyote Cafe

Sam Vicari’s Blunt will be available July 1 from Sip City Records.


New Orleans IZE getting wild, wild, wild, live! Press photo courtesy of the artists.
New Orleans IZE getting wild, wild, wild, live! Press photo courtesy of the artists.

Amid all the excitement surrounding New Orleans’ own IZE & their limited edition Z Tapes cassette king of the mods, we are proud to bring you their remix of Detroit band Turn To Crime’s “Action” with IZE’s “everybody /new/ EP for new fusions & new levels of realized synergy.

The kind of the mods cassette is everything you have waited all year for, the song “stick around” will help all hearts who have felt abandoned by someone or something feel a sense of belonging once again (with synths that stay with you, and Rob’s delivery that haunts the living daylights out of your heart). Tracks like “disco 2nite” prove that IZE is the greatest act that DFA, along with James Murphy & associates haven’t discovered yet as the New Orleans group rocks the discotheque with the infectious & ultra-kinetic dance floor banger that creates the ear worm lyrical chorus that will never-ever leave you with “all your drunk boys, & all your drunk friends are out on the floor at the end of the night, all your drunk boys who want to stay in, & all your drunk friends will come over again, all your drunk boys & all your drunk friends, & all the drunk souls gonna disco tonight.” IZE switches up gears with “on lex, near you” that provides a futurist slice of electro-pop that points to a variety of wild directions that IZE are headed toward (making them a definite band to watch this year, and next in our honest opinions).

On IZE’s “everybody <3s a 707 rmx" of Turn To Crime's "actions"; the New Orleans group twists the Detroit band's sound with their bouncy synths and crystal clear keys & chords that make for a full on enchanting experience. The disco style of IZE can be heard here like a caterpillar in chrysalis metamorphosing into a beat laden butterfly that takes flight for the fanciest clubs imaginable in all of the northern 50 states, & world at large. The recitation that "actions speak louder than works" are understood where the visceral action is executed by Rob & company's new production approach that finds Turn To Crime's single in good company. IZE reinforces the Detroit group's rhythmic sensibility and brings out the warmer percussive sides of the Michigan band by uncovering a host of previously unknown possibilities.

IZE provided the following introductory thoughts on their new cassette, king of the mods:

Growing from a bedroom project into a full band, New Orleans post-punk outfit IZE has released their second collection of melancholy and hypnotic pop songs through legendary DIY label Z-Tapes. king of the mods expands on their last EP, /new/, further blending the dense, frigid pop sensibilities of New Order with a decidedly New York dance-punk vibe. KOTM sees vocalist and songwriter Robert Tornillo skirting the inevitability of adulthood by hiding out in stories of late nights and dance music.

IZE’s new cassette king of the mods is available now for pre-order via Z Tapes.

vhs dream

Introducing Melbourne's vhs dream; press photo courtesy of the artists.
Introducing Melbourne’s vhs dream; press photo courtesy of the artists.

As it looks like Melbourne, Australia is poised to take over the entire world of pop music with the amount of talent that seems to be emerging from down-under—we introduce you to vhs dream. Created by the core visions from Matthew Hosking & Mayzie Wallen, vhs dream presents the world premiere of their self-directed/Mathias Dowle filmed video for “Come Around”, taken from their forthcoming album Departure available June 17 from Husky Recordings. Following up their 2015 fall singles “a e i o u”/”fine friend”; Matthew & Mayzie exhibit a massive jump from just months time where their sound has only grown more grand in depth & dimension & dreamier according to their analog tape aesthetic.

Mathias Dowle helps to capture vhs dream in their most ethereal element in scope of sound & visuals. As they have waded deeper into the Souvlaki-esque waters of gazy guitar effects and elongated treatments (where one singular strum can resonate throughout the future ages); the video over image overlays observes vhs dream in their habitat, performing among collected & flashing holiday lights of green & purple that blink from the mist of smoke machines & ethereal fog. The Super-VHS quality of the video will take some back to the days of linear editing bays offered by the A/V department of schools where the seemingly infinite possibilities of analog arts continues onward according to it’s own time tested tradition. Read our interview with vhs dream’s Matthew Hosking & Mayzie Wallen immediately after the following video debut for “Come Around”.

Describe what it is about Melbourne that the two of you find to be absolutely fascinating and inspiring right now?

Matthew: Not a whole lot. Right now, the weather is very cold and dreary, and I like that. I think I work better in this environment. I’m not entirely sure what’s going on out there in Melbourne to be honest. I work a lot, and don’t rely on the outside environment to inspire me.

Mayzie: Melbourne right now is in such a great place. The music scene has always been fantastic here but in the last few years there has just been this total explosion in bands making great shoegaze/dream pop music. It’s such a great and supportive little scene, everyone backs each other so much. We are lucky to be a part of it.

How do the two of you begin to define your own instinctive collaborative connection as vhs dream?

Matthew: We both attempt songs personally, then bring them to each other to expand the idea. The songs start from a very personal point of view, which I think is really important for us. I think we are similar in some ways and very different in others. I think what makes us so compatible musically is that we both have different strengths and different weaknesses. Generally, we want to create the same musical atmosphere, so we work well together.

Mayzie: We have a great connection. It was weird, kinda from the day we met and played together the first time there was just this great chemistry. Particularly when we play live, I think you can really feel it. I guess it’s having a similar style and just fitting together really well.

What sorts of analog video-taped dreams do you two both hold?

Matthew: To be honest, I’m really not all that obsessed with anything analogue, which goes against the grain of our band name. I guess I do like old video tapes, but I don’t own any. It’s more about content than medium for me. If we’re talking real dreams, I’ve dreamt a lot about snakes recently.

Mayzie: If you are talking real dreams, I have crazy dreams all the time. Last night I dreamt that I was fighting in World war 1 but the trenches were actually star systems. And there was strawberry cheesecake involved but I can’t really remember where that fitted in…

Tell us too what the story is behind the song “Come Around”.

Matthew: Mayzie wrote this song years ago when she was playing with another band and suggested that we play it. I really liked it from the beginning, and it’s become one of my favourites. For me, it was very refreshing to take a song to a different place, and it was the first song in a long time where I focused a lot on the guitar in a musical way. I usually focus on sound qualities rather than notes, so this was a bit different for me. Mayzie’s vocals are really honest and heartfelt, so she set the bar quite high from the beginning. It took a long time to finish.

Mayzie: Come around was written a few years ago. I was going through a bit of a rough time.. a mixture of outside influences and also being pretty self-destructive. The song is about the way that relationships change over time. I don’t think that’s a bad thing!

Tell us what else we can expect from the album Departure.

Matthew: The theme of the album is loss, hence the title. Each song documents a personal loss, and that concept lingers throughout the album. For me, it’s a sad album, but it has moments of colour. We’ve tried to begin the album on a bright note, and gradually darken the tone throughout the listen. We’ve implemented these concepts in several ways. We interlace the main album tracks with atmospheric segues which tie the album together and create contemplative moments between songs. We will also release another song and video. The target for that is September. Perhaps another after that. We’ll see. There’s already a video for A E I O U, which we released last year.

Mayzie: The album is meant to take the listener on a journey. The album is about loss, and when you listen through it I think you can feel that, feel the journey that grief and loss take you on. It can get real dark and heavy in there!!

Other dreams & hopes & more?

Matthew: I don’t personally have any dreams or hopes. I’ll just continue to do what I do. There’s always music coming from me, because that’s all I can do. I just want to continue doing that, so I hope to be able to do just that.

The album Departure from vhs dream will be available June 17 from Husky Recordings.

Ranch Ghost

Hanging around with Nashville's Ranch Ghost; photographed by Ashley Boyd Jones.
Hanging around with Nashville’s Ranch Ghost; photographed by Ashley Boyd Jones.

Music City is a place that feels like perpetual pop in absolute overload and access. Perhaps the original Austin, Nashville continues keep us entertained and rocking to real ripping tracks heard from locals Ranch Ghost. Presenting the world premiere of “Black Caboose”, the band of Joshua Meadors, Matthew Sharer, Tanner Lunn, Andy Ferro take us on a train ride to the otherside with a gritty outlaw rager off their upcoming album Lookin available July 1 from Rough Beast. This is that strange trip down the southern trail where the ticket is bought, & the ride begins…

Ranch Ghost hitch a ride on the midnight special going straight onto a morning called never. It’s that steam chugging charge into the chasms of perdition where gravity and inertia are engaged in a free-fall free-for all freak-out that could rage forward forever. Ranch Ghost rage ahead into the night on a haunted train destined for some kind of an oblivion with a psych & surf sensibility that has the controls and dials set for a world of no tomorrow. We got a chance to get to know Ranch Ghost better in an interview featured after the following debut of “Black Caboose”.

What are some of the greatest things happening right now in East Nashville that the non-locals have no clue about?

I think we might be running out of secrets, especially the east side. South Nashville still has a few secrets though. Affordable housing, fewer tall and skinny mini-mansions, and Ethiopian food. Shh.

How do you all know each other?

I met all of these guys through skateboarding close to ten years ago. Josh worked at one skatepark, Matt and Mitch both worked at another, and Tanner was just skating all of the time like I was. We all moved into a house together and that’s when we started playing music. I had been playing guitar for a little while, but we all pretty much learned together. That house was called The Ranch and we all had an unbelievable amount of fun there. It had a big back yard and a room full of instruments. I hardly ever left the house for a couple of years because I didn’t have to go anywhere to have a social life. People just showed up all the time. Some would stay for a couple of days. We’d just hang out and play music. It was great.

Hanging on the ranch with Ranch Ghost; press photo.
Hanging on the ranch with Ranch Ghost; press photo.

Might we inquire about what sorts of paranormal activities and superstitions contributed to the founding of Ranch Ghost?

There was always funny stuff happening in that house. Doors would lock themselves and we would wake up to broken dishes in the middle of the kitchen floor. Once I was leaning with my back against the front door and it opened then slammed on me while no one was inside. Matt had a weird experience with a turntable that would slow down and start playing at half speed when he would turn his back. It never felt scary though. It felt more like a friend pulling your leg.

What made you all realize that Ranch Ghost was a musical phenomenon?

We were in Pittsburgh a couple of years ago and we played for a bunch of wild looking kids with their faces painted with black and white zig-zags. An old Polish man named Mark pulled me aside afterwards and said, “Andy, Ranch Ghost is a musical phenomenon.”

Polaroids courtesy of Ranch Ghost.
Polaroids courtesy of Ranch Ghost.

How do you all describe your own creative processes, and what was it like working with Mitch Jones on the making of the new record?

We often write songs while we’re all together. We’ll start playing and when something feels good, just flesh it out until it’s a song. Or Josh will have an idea and we’ll work off of that. I’ll write on my own too, and sometimes those songs will translate well into Ranch Ghost songs. That’s how Black Caboose worked. It just depends on the song. When we started recording with Mitch it didn’t really feel like we were trying to make an album. At least to me, that’s how it felt. We were just getting together and recording for the sake of recording so we’d at least have rough takes of all of our songs. It naturally became a more serious effort before too long, then Mitch got swamped with his other two projects at the time and it came to a standstill for a bit. In the meantime we recorded the songs again somewhere else, but in the end came back to finish what we’d started with Mitch. He’s a proper member of our band now and all of the recordings on the album are from his studio.

Sam Humans

Sam Humans; photographed by Jason Quigley.
Sam Humans; photographed by Jason Quigley.

Introducing Sam Humans, previously of Modernstate, O Bruxo, known also for his work in Orquestra Pacifico Tropical & Secret Drum Band; we are proud to present the premiere of “Steam”, taken from Sam’s new album Soulboss. An artist known for making wild loops & the most chill sounds in Portland, Oregon; Sam Humans finds that happy live & let live peace of natural understanding that can be heard in the warm nature of his sound. Known for dabbling in tropical tones & motifs in spirited arrangements; Sam Humans helps to reveal things about our own personal nature that mix sublime thoughts on the human condition and the affections of the heart in the most beguiling of manners.

“Steam” blows off some of the same while creating infectious arpeggiated chords the cascade in ascending & descending orders that ignite the imagination in senses in the most subtle, yet profound ways. “There goes the sun, another day is done, moon rise will be beautiful light tonight, will not last forever, it’s better when together, day & night like there’s one…” Sam entertains ideas of a certain marriage between the sun & the moon, feelings of flight, and romantic notions centered around the connections and bonds that we make for the rest of our lives. Sam Humans’ “Steam” is a song for both lonely & content hearts to re-examine their feelings by the light of the moon, or by the illuminating beam sent down from the sun. Read our interview with Sam featured right after the following listen to “Steam”.

From your work in Modernstate, O Bruxo to your current work with Secret Drum Band and Orquestra Pacifico Tropical; how do you make the time for Sam Humans?

Let’s face it, bands break up. I’ve been in a lot of them, and almost more than anything else, that’s what they do. Sam Humans was born of the need to always have a project, a place to focus my creative energy, and a coping mechanism for love and loss. In that way, there’s never a bad time for Sam Humans, as it exists in the in-between times, a way to fill the void with something beautiful.

What’s the story on how Sam Humans started, along with the name?

I always wanted to call my solo project simply “Humans”, but the name was already taken by a Man-Or-Astro-Man side project. Somewhere in the mid-oughts I was making a Myspace page for my band old band …worms (Marriage Records) and decided to put my name down as Sam Humans.”\ From there it kinda just had a life of it’s own. “Soulboss” was much the same, as it came out at O Bruxo practice one afternoon when Jesse (Johnson, aka Gulls, and Boomarm Nation CEO) and Papi (Fimbres, he of a bazillion bands) were jiving back and forth about yours truly, when all the sudden one of them calls me Soulboss. Next thing you know Papi’s introducing me to complete strangers as his friend Soulboss, to the point where now there are whole swaths of Portlanders who know me only as such. But more than anything it’s a proud nickname. I’m honoured that the people I’ve made some of the best music of my career with, and who know me as well as most anyone on the planet, somehow dropped such a tight nickname on me that has endured to this day.

Describe for us the process of making Soulboss….and what sorts of bosses and souls inspired this album?

This is my fourth solo record, and by far the most difficult to have made. It is learning to be a father and discovering wells of empathy I did not know existed, as well as pain from the loss of that family unit. It is trying to stay afloat in a world replete with fear and designed to keep our brains in consumption mode. It is an experiment in making odd time signatures dance-able. It is a reflection on reflection, concerned with the nature of perspective and the barriers we both erect and encounter that shape our world view. Above all, as with most of the music I love, it is a search for some form of truth: spiritual, emotional, rhythmic, melodic, etc.

This music is inspired by the soul of the West Coast of the United States. A place where Manifest Destiny reached its conclusion and continues to wither and die. A place where cultures collide and rivers still flow through forested mountains to the salted sea. It is inspired by the specter of what could have been, and an embrace of what is. It is inspired by the soul of the Golden Eagle, as one day in November 2011 after leaving my mothers homestead deep in the mountains of south-central Oregon, I was contemplating the concept of spirit animals. Just then an enormous Golden Eagle swept across the road, gliding next to my speeding car for just a moment before veering off, above, and out of sight. How very rare to ask the universe and a question and get a literal answer! Much respect to the Golden Eagle for choosing me.

An intimate, introspective chat with Sam Humans; photographed by Jason Quigley.
An intimate, introspective chat with Sam Humans; photographed by Jason Quigley.

What’s good in PDX right now?

PDX is in the midst of a radio-renaissance, and I’m proud to say that I helped give that movement it’s legs as founder of the Portland Radio Authority in 2003. First we got OPB music, then came X-RAY, and now a new station (KFFP, Freeform Portland) launched last month. It’s nice to see the tides of progress effecting change for good! Also, the new Animal Eyes record is super rad and there’s finally some serious movement to make all-ages music a reality in this town again with the Friends of Noise coalition.

What are you listening to, watching, reading, etc obsessively right now?

Lately I’ve been obsessed with a guitar player from the 70s/80s named Master Mwana Congo, often listen in the liner notes simply as Master. So smooth! Also, the new Bombino album produced by Dave Longstreth, the new Mdou Moctar album Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai on Sahel Sounds, a record Blue Note put out in 1968 called Eddie Gale’s Ghetto Music that defies the concept of genre and totally blows my mind, Jacobin Magazine, and the writings of Chris Hedges.

Sam Humans’ Soulboss is available now via Bandcamp.


Casinos on the court; press photo courtesy of the band.
Casinos on the court; press photo courtesy of the band.

We introduced you to the world of LA’s Casinos with the thrill of oppulence of “Crapulence” and we today we proudly present you with a first listen to their Danger Collective Records full-length debut, An Album. If you thought “Crapulence” was a wild ride, Kreider, Rafe, Reed and Jackson are about to prove that you ain’t heard nothing yet.

The freakshow begins with the carnival cavalcade that spills into the funhouse of “Tima”, to the surreal sideshhow of “They Were Warned” that performs a little something more than parlor tricks alone for some old time-y audio entertainment. But right before you can ever think that you have this quartet figured out, we got “Catacombs” ft. Derek Ted, & the already much lauded single “Crapulence” that brings all the hijinx & drama that you can handle. Weirdness abounds everywhere on the lo-fi vignette “HNNH”, to the flights of fancy on “Smurf and Turf”, to the vaudville villainy of “VMII”, followed by the inverted odditity “IIMV”, before you are left with “The Upper Hand” that invites you to stick around as there is “more to see.” We are most interested to hear what Casinos come up with next.


Introducing Oakland, CA's O.C.D.; press photo courtesy of the band.
Introducing Oakland, CA’s O.C.D.; press photo courtesy of the band.

Oakland’s O.C.D.’s new single “I Don’t Despise You” offer up the first single from their upcoming Native Sound EP Growth, that provide some expressions of sentiments that sometimes get misconstrued in the crossfire of expression, dialogues, & humans exchanges. “I Don’t Despise You” provides that moment of clarity that we always desire to have with loved ones after misunderstood words, phrases, and the fall-outs that we naturally have with one another as humans (especially when it comes to the ones that we care for the most in the world).

O.C.D.’s own Ethan White shared the following insights on the making of the new single:

“I Don’t Despise You” is the first song I wrote for O.C.D. along side my best friend and band mate AP. It is a declaration of shedding skin and mourning your past self. To move forward and finally pursue the life I picture living through music.

Cities Aviv

The continuing proliferation of Cities Aviv, oka Gavin Mays; press photo courtesy of the artist.
The continuing proliferation of Cities Aviv, oka Gavin Mays; press photo courtesy of the artist.

Continuing to help us be better accustomed to the IRL here & now present; Cities Aviv, aka Gavin Mays, continues to expand our senses of consiousness with the new intimation of further artistic items soon to follow with “Melanin Drop”. A self-produced track, Gavin turns brass-based elements inside out to create a whole kind of pressure drop that finds Mays’ own self-styled approach to nu-jazz concepts discovering minimalist dub elements that would bring about a smile & blessing from King Tubby. On the heels of last year’s Your Discretion is Trust, the Memphis master of mind-transforming fantasias helps listeners to better understand themselves without the smoke and mirror illusions of seeing a world through the lenses of delusions.

Robert Lippok

Catching up with Berlin music master Robert Lippok; photographed by Sylvia Steinhäuser.
Catching up with Berlin music master Robert Lippok; photographed by Sylvia Steinhäuser.

Tokyo imprint of importance & the utmost prestige flau announced that will re-issue Open Close Open from Robert Lippok. Having been originally released through Raster Norton back in 2001, flau will re-press this through their sister imprint raum later this month of June complete with bonus features. The Berlin artist’s music moves between the spaces of found natural sounds through orchestral strings that provide various moods and additional atmospheres that contribute the original essence and aura of the existing atmosphere. Lippok adds the most understated murmurs of electronic utterances along with synths and the semblance of strings that create something of an echo board canvas for abstract works that are facilitated in the most subtle and restrained of airs.

Robert was ever so kind & generous as to provide us with the following exclusive insights on re-introducing his EP to a whole new audience:

open close open is my first solo release and very important to me. It was the first step towards my own language of sound, and an exploration on different methods of processing the sonic environment I´m surrounded by. I see my work more than sonic sculptures than music. Carving the forms slowly step by step. Open Close Open is also an contemporary document about ways of using loops and a specific sound aesthetic at the turn of the millennium.

Good Looking Friends

Introducing Good Looking Friends' Zach, Sean & Adam; press photo.
Introducing Good Looking Friends’ Zach, Sean & Adam; press photo.

Brooklyn’s Good Looking Friends are made up of Zach, Sean, Adam, & company who just released their You Won’t Die EP, & share some thoughts with us today on their single “War Hero” about fabricated tales spun out of struggle & suffering. Tall tales involving a phony ex-military record, a broken marriage, & cancer diagnosis are retold by the band; something of a tribute to a former co-worker of Zach’s who made up all kinds of stories to provide a backdrop for his own misery. What is brilliant about what Good Looking Friends do here is that even though they acknowledge the b.s. behind the former acquaintance’s lies, “War Hero” treats the individual’s pain with the human emotion of empathy where they are not belittled or mocked but rather paid tribute in song as attempts to find a certain sort of understanding. Guitarist/vocalist Zach Fischer elaborated further on the single & EP with the following keen, exclusive insights:

The EP is a little somber but You Won’t Die was a blast to make. We all had day jobs at the time, so we had to do all the recording in concentrated bursts. We got to work with some of our favorite producers: Joe Reinhart in Philly (Algernon, Hop Along, everything good), and Dara Hirsch and Kegan Zema in Brooklyn (Operator, Journalism), and Scott Hull in Peekskill (he’s mastered so much, not even worth listing here). We ended up with this stockpile of recordings and sessions and put together the four that told the best story and riffed off each other musically and lyrically.

“War Hero” is about this guy I got close to at my first job out of college, doing IT. Dude was super smart, a phenomenal drinker and storyteller; really charismatic, but really fucked up from a slew of awful experiences. His wife left him, he was constantly having flashbacks to his time in the military in Afghanistan, and had been living with terminal lung cancer. I originally wrote the song to convince him to get chemo treatment he was refusing, until the whole house of cards came tumbling down – no military record, no wife, no cancer. I reworked the end of the song slightly, but most of the core stuff was still there. I think the emotion that went into the song – the anger and frustration that he refused to take care of himself– was still equally legitimate when that anger was directed at his manufactured, tragic self-narrative. The guy was clearly suffering. He probably still is, and it’s sad. But you gotta watch out for some people in pain. They’ll take you for everything you’ve got.

Most of the tracks on You Won’t Die are about understanding and breaking through delusions of some kind or another. Everybody’s got their own narrative, their own experiences, and their own lies. So does the zeitgeist, for that matter. I find it all fascinating, and it preoccupies a lot of the writing.

Ravi Shavi

The wonderful rocking world of Ravi Shavi; photographed by Jeremy Van Eyk.
The wonderful rocking world of Ravi Shavi; photographed by Jeremy Van Eyk.

Ravi Shavi have been shaking some action sinece even before the Providence, RI band released their 2015 self-titled, and today we bring you a listen to their Independent EP available now from Almost Ready Records. Lead by Rafay Rashid, the group takes on the classic components of r & r in a way that entertains every DIY trick that creates an economy of catchy lo-fi cuts that could have been ripped from the C86 era, or something uncovered from the Captured Tracks/Omnian vaults. What Independent stands for is the statement that Ravi Shavi are here to stay, as collectively wet our whistles on what will ultimately tide us over until we receive the second Ravi Shavi record.

All the excitement bursts out the front gate with the summer fun-seeking song “Hot” that is reminiscent of running across the scalding sands of your favorite beach on a sun-scorching day in the dead of July. Choruses of “hallelujah” ring out everywhere as Ravi Shavi rips out a throwback rocker, keeping aspects of anguish still sort of twee-ish on the angular strumming “The Ruins”, bringing more modern wonders on the title track “Independent” (that sounds like it could have been at home as a no-wave throwback from a vintage Rough Trade catalog). That golden era-glow keeps on shining throw as songs like “Device” bring about your new favorite songs that you would hope would be played at all tomorrow’s proms & homecomings. As all good things must come to a close, the final number “Boys in Blue” provides something of a stripped down rendering of “Love is the Drug” that raises a toast to the Providence’s finest & more decked out in their authoritative blue garb. Needless to say; we cannot wait for the next Ravi Shavi chapter to begin.

The Medicine Hat are readying an album for later this fall, but first delivered us a listen to “New Survival” that delivers bright pop innuendos & intimation towards matters worth surviving for. “New Survival” points toward new starts, new days, new mornings, and new opportunities of epic greatness recorded/produced by Michael Keire at Threshold Studios. Nabi Sue Bersche remains firm & steadfast in the midst of the audio storms of winds & rains and all the obstacles imaginable that Nabi described further with the following insights:

“New Survival’ is a mantra. A hymn I’m singing to keep my fears at bay. It’s about struggle: trying to inhabit my city, my home, my body, my depression, my angst, my art. I wrote it in the midst of some changes in my physical and mental environment; changes I found difficult to navigate. It doesn’t resolve with any answers, but it does resolve with hope. A shaky, raw, unsure sort of hope. A new survival, if you will.

Cuban by Chilean by Denmark artist KING emerged onto the scene with the new single “Promise” that brings about new hopes, new wishes & new entries into electric arenas of brand new essences. “Promise” hangs onto every word, & every note that points to new places of potential & newfound paradise. KING is a regal artist to keep close ear on this summer/fall.

Alice Bag presents the new powerful & deeply riveting video for the single “He’s So Sorry” from Marisé Samitier, introduced with the following introduction:

“He’s So Sorry” is a song of both urgency and agency.
Nobody should risk their life waiting for an abuser to change their ways.

I grew up around domestic violence, so when a good friend of mine asked me for help and advice, I recognized that she was in an abusive situation. Our conversations inspired this song.

When I was growing up, my father would frequently beat my mother. I would often go to school wondering if my mother would still be alive when I got home. My mother would tell me that she stayed with my father for my sake because I needed to have a mother and a father. It was a different time and a different set of values.

As a child, I hated my father for beating my mother and I felt anger and frustration at my mother’s inability to leave. My mother WAS NOT to blame for the abuse—that is unequivocal—but she did fail to recognize that she had the power to leave the situation. She was tethered by the fear that she wouldn’t be able to survive financially and by what I imagine was societal and familial pressure to stay.

SVĒ recently released the remix of “Screaming in your Bed” ft. Rah-C that provided a boudoir view to chamber room histrionics. Rah provides some previous views into the intimate interior while SVĒ’s vocal delivery takes over entire affair of moody-midnight synths.

LA’s Figs Vision bring you their own desert mirage visions from Jake Saner for the electrifying “Elle You’re Walking”. Jordan Spoliansky & Gunner Sixx bring an arid tale of wayward emotions between derelicts with cold hearts & hearts of gold for a piece that the duo introduced with the following words:

It was easy to become taken, lost in the idea of somewhere to belong and therefore a great deal of time was spent heaping substance into the desert. Elle is the story, not of why or how but of who. She was a young doe eyed beauty, she was someone. something special. She’s what it took to see what we had become, she meant so much more than any single ounce of self and oh! the love. This is a story about love, this is a story about pain. Excitement and fear—guilt and pleasure—life and death. This is your story, this is our story, this is her story. “Elle You’re Walking.”

Gileah Taylor shed some “Tears Of A Spirit”, taken off her brand new album Songs For Late At Night Vol. 2 available soon from Casa Coraggio / Velvet Blue Music. The Destin, Florida based artist creates a sound that extends beyond the sunny seas & bright lit nearby beaches for more celestial places of the heart, mind, & soul. “Tears Of A Spirit” reaches toward the infinite void of the ether, extending forth a hand for a loved one lost through the folds of time and the routes that life takes us. Gileah reinforces this feeling with the hypnotic and kindred reassurances of “you are the last of your kind” that points toward the I love you just the way you are sorts of wondrous & individual nature of being as unique as a snowflake.

Before & after Lil Donyel dropped his new mixtape Dony Le Blow, the PDX by LA artist has been dropping tracks & videos at a lightning fast rate, and we got the visual for the new track “Sloppy”, filmed by Basedman. A glorified instrumental cut produced by Donyel’s alter-ego Minerals 1; “Sloppy” plays into the hand of the garden chime-trap-wave that sends summer breeze sensations direct into your backyard & patios.

Meet TERRY, made up of members from Total Control, UV Race, & Dick Diver who shared the triple bout dose of “Third War” taken off their debut album Terry HQ available July 1 from Upset The Rhythm. “Third War” is the perfect anthem for everyone that feels like they are in the middle of their own personal/political or otherwise World War III, where the solemn states sink in through minimalist harmonies and strums that keep the mood melancholic & strangely hopeful.

Your wild nights of infinite summer can now officially commence as we bring you the single “Give It Up” courtesy of Bear Mountain, ripped from their forthcoming album Badu available September 9 from Last Gang Records. The moments of compromise, give, take, and the bonds of commitment keep the entire pop arrangement soaring like a song destined to be played overhead at the ultra-fashionable textile boutiques of the near future.

It’s the 20 plus minute mixtape you have been waiting for and we are excited to bring you a collaboration of the ages; friends & family, we give you Chrome Sparks meets Psychic Twin. It’s the twin titans of DIY pop together at last like you have never heard them. Hear for yourself, dear listeners & readers.

Woodson Black, oka Haux, brought us the new single “Seaside” that works in shore-side ways from the debut EP All We’ve Known available July 8 from Akira Records. Ruminations of earnest meetings that play about in the playground of the mind are described in sentimental textures, tones, & delivery.

Sydney, AU artist Alex Cameron presents the Ryan Haysom video for “Take Care of Business”, full of weird-crooning moods & moments off the debut album, Jumping The Shark available August 19 from Secretly Canadian. The brooding and bizarre stage presence will have you quaking and shaking as the artist repeats the title refrain over and over again until it becomes imprinted in the utmost part of your consciousness.

Feast your senses on the Underhill directed video starring Claire Deveau for Richie Quake’s emotive & ambient new single, “Irresistible (Ice Cold)”. Richie gets wrapped up in all the feelings as a throwback iPod commercial of sorts is created in the style of retro-futurism. The pangs of attachment & the richness of connection are placed upon an exquisite pedestal of pure sensuality.

JPSource from Louisville, KY just dropped the following version of “She’s Always In My Hair” made with ex-Workers and Your Black Star’s Jeremy Johnson (notorious for dishing out the Pappy Van Winkle jello shots at his Louisville pub from what we hear). The result here is an electrified, chord ripping experience to keep your hands clapping, toes tapping, and your hair waving defiantly in the breeze.

ABRA turns out the ultra-electric waterworks with the new single “CRYBABY”, found off the forthcoming Princess EP available July 15 from True Panther Sounds. Dubbed Atlanta’s “Darkwave Duchess;” ABRA brings about her NYC by South London by ATL influences in ways that mix together rhythm, heavy emotions, and a kinetic arrangement that allows the listening audience to experience all the involved feels.

LA trio Matt Billings, Grant Stevens, & Andrew Smith are Mothlight who are working on a new album this fall (following up 2014’s Calico), presenting us the first taste with “Day/Night”. The track glows with the kind of weight that deep pensive thoughts bring in the endless mind-stream that occurs during the sunlit hours, to the moonbeam night glow of sleepless evenings.

Eloh Kush & Dus will drop their collaborative record AngelDus avaialble June 24 from Water the Plants, delivering the “B-Boy Bonanza”. Featuring appearances from John Robinson, El Da Sensei, A.G. (Show & A.G.) & Stahhr while showing off some of that Dus production; the crew here drops a series of verses & rhymes for all b boys & b girls out there that kicks it with an old school boom bap flair.

Andy Harris, guitarist, vocalist from The Old Paints reached out to us this past week about their upcoming 10-state tour happening this July up and down the East Coast, featuring 23 shows in 24 days. With lots of love being given to their recent album This Machine, their following featured single “Girl” (which won the Girls Rock Birmingham 2016 Songwriting Contest) features the best-fist clenching riots of sound that you have always wanted in an electric guitar growling anthem.

In case you missed it, peep the acoustic b/w shot idobi Session for Bassh’s “Body” that asks you to listen to your body because you can never see it, but you feel it, and the reverberation of the heartache that resonates throughout your being.

Chicago singer, producer, popsters Chrissy & Hawley presents the Kyle Garrison video with effects from John Dretzka for the karaoke fashioned visuals for the glitzy “My Top Twenty”. Found off their debut album available July 15 from Nite Owl Diner, the list topping favorites are portrayed here like preferences expressed during a swank night on the town.

LA trio WALTER have an upcoming 7″ with Famous Class July 1, and we give you a listen to the skronk-saturated single “Poetics of Space”. The song takes the listener deep into the quicksand that finds the song getting slower & sludgier as the feelings of sinking down deep into the voids of scuzzy-spatial-sound & poetic constructs.

We bring you the wonderful new single “Forgetting Everything”, featured off the Pink Mexico album fool available June 24 from Burger Records. Robert Preston proves beyond his work in Shilpa Ray to be a modern pop master in his own right who should not be slept on.

And just in case you missed, it we bring you the live, raw, loud, & rowdy rocker from John Dwyer & the might of Thee Oh Sees put on proud display with the single “Gelatinous Cube”. Taken off their forthcoming live double album Live in San Francisco available July 1 from Castle Face; fans will rejoice as once again we have a crystallized representation of the majesty & might of one of the west coast’s greatest exports.

Sincerely Yours just sent along word of the new Merely single taken from forthcoming second album available June 17, presenting the glorious “Yang” featuring collaborative guitar and vocals from fellow labelmates of notoriety, Sweden’s one & only JJ. Together they make for what sounds as the opposite of yin where where the other half signal the opening of celestial gates to the unknown chapters and chambers of consciousness.

Mark Ratcliff, aka Rude Audio dropped the Ali Ingle video for “Knockemdub” that follows the adventures of his son Matty that plays the part of The Spaceboy making his about town, space, & the cosmos in luxury, & fine dub wise style. Taken off the recently released Rudest EP, the video brings about the futurist, galaxy bound sentiment with an earthbound approach.

Morgane Lhote who you already know from her keyboard work in Stereolab returns as Hologram Teen, sharing an advance listen to her forthcoming 7″ for Happy Robots Records available July 1. The artist who changed your life with releases like Emperor Tomato Ketchup and Dots and Loops entertains new future synth tracks that provide something for club-heads, d & b lovers, & progressive house fans alike. A 7″ that would find perfect company alongside a Princess Century or Princess Nokia set, singles like the a-side “Marsangst” wonders wildly about what anxiety emotions on Mars might be like set to grooving sequence of bright keys & bountiful beats. “Hex These Rules” places a curse on the regulations that restrain the spirit of the soul’s freedom, as Morgane takes synths that slap against rhythms that move from urban, to suburban, to rural percussion that creates cataclysms in the sky that create epiphanies for the masses and the not so massive to enjoy together in a blissful unison.

Watch the Lion Roar Productions video for Introflirt performing their single “Orange Light” live at San Francisco’s legendary Hotel Utah last fall on October 29, 2015. Complete with electric light adornments, Introflirt’s electric sound of enthusiastic hearts is put on full, fine display.

For those looking for Italo dream pop, we bring you a listen to Novanta’s “Goðafoss” off the upcoming album Hello We’re Not Enemies available June 17 from Seashell Records. “Goðafoss” brings about all sorts of new romantic dalliances, executed expertly by Palermo by Milan’s Manfredi Lamartina amid an arrangement of chords & notes that express similar sentiments.

Introducing S T F U, made up of Dean Garcia (of Curve, SPC ECO) and Preston Maddox (of Bloody Knives) who share the following listen to their debut EP What We Want for ELaB Records available July 29. The modern day art dreamers begin their newfound collaborative launch with the dark dancing “Secret” that scans synths, drums, & treated vocals in all directions, right before diving head first into the title track, before rising up or air on the urgent “Do It Now”, right before you are left in the quicksand of thoughts on the beautiful “Slow”.

High Water, the project of Will Epstein, readies the debut album Crush available June 24 from Other People, and we have the Lucinda Williams cover of “Changed The Locks” that chronicles the changes & shifts the occur when one is moving on to a new kind of lifestyle. In a skanking dub style, Epstein further exhibits how the motif of a changed lock entails myriad changes all around in some one’s life as they go through their own respective, personal transitions.

Gigi Masin & Tempelhof’s Week in Pop

Pop music masters: Gigi Masin & Tempelhof; press photo courtesy of the artists.
Pop music masters: Gigi Masin & Tempelhof; press photo courtesy of the artists.

Gigi Masin & Tempelhof’s new collaborative album Tsuki is available now from Cascine / Hell Yeah Recordings, and we can barely contain our excitement as we present the following exclusive guest selection by these two titans of modern day musical mastery:

Gigi Masin

Level 42, “Something About You”

One of the best sound to drive a car..

Steely Dan, “Do It Again”

A classic forever..

John Martyn, “Sweet Little Mystery”

A magic love song from my favorite master.

The two titans of Tempelhof & Gigi Masin; press photo.
The two titans of Tempelhof & Gigi Masin; press photo.


Moloko, “The Time Is Now”

Early ’00, picture a guy coming back from disco, with no sleep. He drop on the couch, turn on the TV and, on MTV Chill Out Zone, they are broadcasting this beauty… suddenly, everything starts again.

Talk Talk, “Life’s What You Make It”

About them, there’s no need to argue…all the discography is alright!

New Order, “Bizarre Love Triangle”

We were together in a kind of Emo Band and we literally went crazy in the attempt to cover this track without any success. So, we broke up with the band and began buying synthesizers.

Tempelhof & Gigi Masin; press photo.
Tempelhof & Gigi Masin; press photo.

I Masters, “Mundial Da Da Da”

Italy world champion 1982, the hymn!

Freur, “Doot Doot”

Before the Underworld, that’s it!

Follow Gigi Masin & Tempelhof via Twitter.