AUDIO: Shampoo Boy’s “Spalt”

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You might say Shampoo Boy has some crack to offer, and that would be in reference to their music. In this case, Crack is the title of their forthcoming EP on the Blackest Ever Black label and they’re sharing a song for everyone to spock. It’s called “Spalt”, so for those who love their music on the electroacoustic at close-to-extreme volumes, you’re going to soak in this for awhile. The record can be pre-ordered directly by heading here.

SOME STUFFS: Electronic experimental twists and more on a new 3 inch CD compilation

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A new release on Bicephalic has been released, and this one is a compilation that can be purchased as a CD3. For those who don’t know, a CD3 is a 3 inch CD, the format that used to require an adapter to play in CD players until manufacturers made it possible to play the disc automatically.

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4 Things features four artists contributing some nice experimental and electronic sounds, from the likes of Loopool, Justin Scott Gray, Somnaphon, and Pregnant Spore. Only 18 copies have been made, and you can purchase it directly from Bicephalic by clicking here. To give it a test listen or to purchase it digitally, click the Bandcamp player below.

SOME STUFFS: Unwoman releases new 3-song EP today

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These are said to be three distinct portraits, meant to be a part of a puzzle created by Unwoman, and you may hear this puzzle in the form of her new EP called IDTWS, released today. As the cover shows, it leads to a path currently unknown and perhaps uncertain, but you know your curiosity. You’re going to take the first step very soon. You know you will. Do so. It’s on the experimental/avant-garde side with a few other qualities, but once you’ll get into it, you’ll want to play it again.

You know you will. Do so.

REVIEW: James Murray’s “The Land Bridge”

 photo JamesMurray_cover_zpsb08344a6.jpg The Land Bridge (Slowcraft) is my introduction to the works of James Murray, and I had no idea what type of music it was, other than it was listed as “experimental” so I decided to give it a shot.

Listening to this album reminded me a bit of like reading/looking at musical notation. I used to know how to read music sheets but lost that ability once I stopped playing (my instrument was the alto saxophone), but on the majority of these songs, each note is played in a pace that is deliberately eerie. In fact, there’s so much time/space between each note that it almost comes off like an avant-garde play. For example, imagine you playing a song and you know the structure of it and what keys to play. You know that in one segment, you’re going to play C, F, B, and than A# (A minor). I enjoy jazz, and when you listen to that style of music, it is usually busy, with a lot of notes played in between each key. A section that might be played in A# might be scattered with an infinite amount of notes from the instrument that is the emphasis, and then you move on to the next key. In this case, all you’re hearing is a singular key, and the next note might happen three seconds later. Five seconds later. Maybe, if you’re lucky, ten seconds later. If one was to play the song at a speedy pace, the full song might be a minute in length, and at first I’m thinking “are things supposed to be this wide?” The melodies are beautiful and haunting, and there were moments where I imagined playing in between each note, as if I’m trying to add to Murray’s work in my own way, like a collaboration or audio graffiti.

The next song begins, and I wondered for a moment if one track is meant to be played at the same time as another, so that what one would hear was a full group, but each track is a singular piece/person, like exploring the multi-tracks of a song, track by track. There’s a weirdness to it, wondering what the next key will be and when it will happen.

Then I realized what also brought me to the album. It features an illustration of a bridge. There are seven songs, with the song in the middle (track 4) being the title track. I wondered if there was some form, some sense to all of this, and decided to attempt to piece my own puzzle to see if it fit. The song tracks are as follows, from 1 to 6:

1. Every Ringing Bell
2. Closeness
3. Small Gestures
4. The Land Bridge
5. Give Blood
6. Be Held

By the time it reaches “Be Held”, I started to wonder if there was a running theme to what was going on. There had to be some string pulling these tracks together, even though from the outside the minimalist qualities initially came off as abstract. Then song #7 came on: “Lovers Leap”. All of a sudden, the minimalism feel almost disappears. There are additional sounds. While the entire album explores the dimension of space and time, it begins to sound more “musical” to me. With a title like “Lovers Leap” and the album title being what it is, I wondered if this was a metaphor for one last letter, one final love note, or what happens when two lovers are so committed, they end up committing suicide together? Does “Lovers Leap” represent the final thoughts of the lovers? Or is this the sound of those few seconds of social and mental freedom one has before they make the fall? Are those few seconds experienced by all of us before we take our final breaths, if and when we know when that breath will be, and will we ever know, if the next breath ever happens? Suddenly, the joy of the sounds heard in “Lovers Leap” becomes a bit sad, but only if you allow it to. Or only if you are to believe what I hear/sense from it.

Whatever the origins of this music is and what inspired it, or whatever The Land Bridge means and represents, Murray has created something that is somehow nostalgia in slow motion, or that what we’re hearing has been felt in a moment that has yet to happen. It’s an intense listen that borders almost on impatience until it reaches “Lovers Leap”, and then one has to come up with conclusions on whether or not it was a worthwhile listen. For those who find it worthy, the final notes will be very rewarding.

REVIEW: AM Architect’s “Pattern Language” (EP)

A.M. Architect photo AMArchitect_cover_zpsf06a5691.jpg A.M. Architect are a two-man duo consisting of Daniel Stanush and Diego Chavez, and while I would call their style of music excerptronica, I’m sure others are more apt in their description of their sound, but I’ll try my best here. A.M. Architect create late night electronica for those early AM hours, where things are laid back, putting you in that zone before the sun comes up. I give it the name excerptronica because it sounds like the tracks are taken from different sound sources, excerpts, end portions, and off-bits of various songs that may not be familiar but could be. In other words, the warmth and vibe of the songs on this EP give you a feeling that these songs are as close as your own record collection or iPod playlist. One of their influences is said to be hip-hop, and I can hear it by the way the beat structures are composed, but direct hip-hop music, this isn’t. It seems to have taken the fun out of the hip-hop groove and made it into something equally satisfying, but in its own way. I am reminded of the excerpt-style of production from Jan Jelinek, but instead of being slightly obscure and abstract, AM Architect get down to the nitty gritty of the groove and comes up with something that could be called an organic variable of Dill’a style of production, but without sounding anything like Dilla. What I enjoy about these songs is how distant some of these songs feel, but then there are portions that sound like chopped up kalimba samples, chunks of keyboards, slices of hip-hop, or maybe that radio station you heard in your life years ago but are still searching for: it’s very much like that. The samples and chopping style of production/programming moves along somewhat at a rapid pace, but there’s that other layer where you catch yourself in the underlying groove, allowing yourself to visualize the sounds in colors and shades, taking it in like a mean sugar rush to the head. Pattern Language (URBNET) is a language unspoken, like the pseudo-dialogue created in these songs, but A.M. Architect know what they’re saying, and it’s being spoken quite loudly.

REVIEW: Bernardo Barros, Mario Del Nunzio, & Henrique Iwao’s “Musica Eletronica 2004”

free image hosting Upon finding this album, I did a search and looked to see how they were classified. These were the keywords: electroacoustic; experimental; electronic; noise; glitch. I knew I was going to like this, but not as much as I ended up doing.

Musica Electronica 2004 consists of recordings made five years ago by collaborators Bernardo Barros, Mario Del Nunzio, and Henrique Iwao, each of whom have a distinct idea of what they want to do but manage to merge their minds to create this cluster falakian of sound. Some are songs, some songs feature excerpts of what could be called songs, while others are just noise pieces. One track consists of nothing but a low-end tone, a bit meditative but the extra sounds that come in and out of the mix disrupt you from full relaxation.

Barrow and Nunzio both offer four individual tracks while Iwao offers three. Iwao’s “Contrabandistas de Jeans Furiosos Ate as Narinas” starts out with what sounds like four minutes of phone tone, before a loud and blisting beat adds to the rhythm of the beep and goes in for a miniature kill. Then it melts into the sound of someone peeling their skin off digitally, scraping layers until the meat is reached and then you’re at the point of no return. Barrio’s “Frankfurt, Frankfurt” sounds like nothing but random sounds sped up, chopped and sequenced at a furious pace, where the need to know the actual source of each sound becomes pointless. You know you’ve heard it, but it feels like a food fight more than a college essay. Nunzio’s “Libidinagens Neuro-sentimentais” is abstract sounds sliced up even further, the blips turn into mini-blips, only to be served up in micro form that you tend to think he’s trying to give you a secret code. Or something.

Listening to this at high volume with headphones may do serious damage, as sounds come out of nowhere in unexpected moments, sometimes piercing through from left to right and left again, and it may make your bowels tingle, especially when they get into manipulating the low frequencies. I’d love to be stopped by a cop and have him hear this:

Police officer: We have been receving complaints about a noise disturbance in the neighborhood, and apparently you have been sitting near this intersection for 15 minutes. Um, sir, I have to ask you to step out of the car and turn off your music.
Me: I cannot, this is Musica Eletronica 2004
P.O.: I have to ask you to (starts yelling) TURN THAT THING OFF, IT’S MAKING MY EARS BLEED.
Me: I know. Cool, yeah?

(Free MP3 download)