Daft Punk Random Access Memories Columbia RecordsWant to know about the world's largest living organism? How about the man with the third highest Donkey Kong score? Need the formula for the area of a circle? All of these things and literally every other piece of knowledge can be had with the click of a button. It's now an age-old adage about the "information age," a time we seemingly take for granted. But what if you want to know more about Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo of Daft Punk? In a time when privacy and anonymity are trivialized, Daft Punk continue to don their masks and create music devoid of desperately appearing as though it was culled from their personal influences. On Random Access Memories, Daft Punk's fourth studio album, the Parisian duo turn that formula on its head, trading in their time-tested computer programs for the collected human experience. But it's still not about their experience; it's about our experience. When they talk of giving life back to music, it isn't just about reaching into the past to create the future; it's about the communal aspects of music: the experience and heartbreak associated with the sounds and its people. Random Access Memories isn't the album Daft Punk should be making in 2013, and that's exactly why Daft Punk created it, and why it took eight long years to master. If the series of Creator's Project videos focusing squarely on the album's collaborators taught us anything, it's that the history of music can teach us more about our presence than anything being produced today.
 

When a concert at Portland venue Wonder Ballroom manages to sell out weeks in advance of the show, it can only mean one thing: the most zeitgeisty of artists must be coming to town. And sure enough, when it was announced that James Blake would be making his second appearance in as many years at the magnificent east side venue, tickets went quicker than expected. If nothing else, it proves that James Blake's new album was a success. April 24th, 2013 @ Wonder Ballroom - Portland, OR
LIVE SHOW REVIEW CONTINUES BELOW

 

Bleep is a column focusing on varying degrees of electronic music news, videos and MP3s. In this post, Bibio shares a brand new single in advance of his new album, Soulwax remixes Pulp for a special Record Store Day release and Disclosure finally discloses some info on their debut album.
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Bibio

When Bibio released "À Tout À L’Heure," it was hard to get a sense of where the English producer was headed on his seventh studio album Silver Wilkinson. With the arrival of "You," the second single from the forthcoming album due May 14th on Warp, Bibio once again throws listeners for a loop, trading the rather breezy sound of "À Tout À L’Heure" for a massive, dance floor ready beat. Both tracks feel like the natural extension of The Avalanches or other sample-heavy artists, turning the assumed into something revelatory.

 

James Blake Overgrown (2013) Universal Republic Few artists are as conscious of their position in the music industry as James Blake. Seemingly spawned from the hype of music blogs and the irresistible "Limit To Your Love" cover which made him famous, Blake knows how volatile and fickle the wicked cycle of fame can be. But such awareness is not necessarily a bad thing; in fact, it is what has driven him to be successful even when the situation was unfair. At the time of his debut album -- a record which he was pressured to piece together by his record label -- Blake felt cheated out of the ability to craft an album he could truly call his own. On Overgrown, however, Blake has crafted a world all his own. And it's as beautiful as anything he has ever created before. In setting the scene, it's important to note the kind of relationship(s) Blake has been in since his bedroom producer days. Much has already been made of his long term relationship with Warpaint guitarist Theresa Wayman, but it's an important development that even Blake has admitted to be an influence on Overgrown. In a recent Guardian interview, when asked about being in love and if it affected his process, Blake responded, "Yeah, it did. And the uncertainty also did. The uncertainty of the nature of the relationship. The uncertainty of touring. The uncertainty of the music industry, and the uncertainty of my position in it." It's an important shift in lifestyle that bears its weight on the whole of Overgrown, a record more grounded in soulful, downtempo electronica than the booming stretch of dubstep EPs he began his career making. Be it the sound itself or the record's lyrical content, Overgrown is the natural evolution of a brilliant artist in his early twenties.

 

As Record Store Day celebrates its 6th anniversary, with vinyl sales posting decade high numbers in 2012, there's no reason to think the yearly event won't continue to expand in 2013, making the dash for collectors and fans alike an even more chaotic experience if you're looking to score the most rare or exciting vinyl. Here are some of the releases we're most excited about. Now if only we had the bank accounts to match our wish lists. View the complete list of recommended releases.

Brian Eno X Nicolas Jaar X Grizzly Bear

As far as superstar collaborations go, this year's Brian Eno X Nicolas Jaar X Grizzly Bear 12" is as exciting as they get. Not only do the three artists bridge decades worth of musical output in their own right, their creativity and collective mastery has surely inspires countless others. This Warp Records package finds Jaar remixing Brian Eno's "Lux 2" and Grizzly Bear's "Sleeping Ute." All 2,000 of these 12" double A-sides should go quick, as this is no doubt one of the most anticipated releases of the event. VINYL INFORMATION Designed and printed by Edwin Pickstone & Ivor Williams on a FAG Control 525 Swiss-built semi-automatic cylinder proofing press in Glasgow. Type was a mix of 35 line sans condensed and 50 lined grotesque super-condensed and was left 80% black, deliberately broken print to echo the sentiment of remixes carrying the remnants of the original.

 

BRIGHT LIKE NEON LOVE TRACKLIST A1 Time Stands Still A2 Future A3 Saturdays A4 Saturdays (Reprise) A5 Going Nowhere B1 DD-5 B2 That Was Just A Dream B3 Zap Zap B4 The Twilight B5 Autobahn Music Box B6 Bright Neon Payphone B7 A Dream

Cut Copy

Before the release of In Ghost Colours in 2008, the thought that Australian electro poppers Cut Copy would soon become a transcendent and influential dance act seemed impossible. It was only their second record in four years, and their debut Bright Like Neon Love was a faded memory, only ever charting in their native country. But it was a critical darling of sorts, heralded as something akin to Daft Punk, The Human League and New Order. And while Record Store Day won't propel Bright Like Neon Love to soaring sales numbers, this year's reissue of the 2004 record will hopefully cement the album's legacy to a newer generation almost a decade later. 4,000 of these 12" long players will be pressed and released by Modular.

 

TAME IMPALA EP TRACKLISTING A1 Desire Be Desire Go A2 Skeleton Tiger A3 Half Full Glass Of Wine B1 Forty One Mosquitoes Flying In Formation B2 Slide Through My Fingers B3 Wander

Tame Impala

Tame Impala's Innerspeaker burst onto the scene in 2010 with it's crunchy, psychedelic guitar work and overall retro tinted sound. Bold but not overstated, Innerspeaker re-established proper rock 'n roll in a lot of ways for the coming decade. But in 2008, the band's self-titled EP was really what set the group on this path. While it maybe doesn't have the bravado and polish of Innerspeaker, or last year's Lonerism, the Tame Impala EP does feature a great deal more for diehard fans who originally missed this record. Modular will release 5,000 of these 12" records, all pressed to red vinyl.

 

"We do not want to please, we want to question the Knife." - Olof Dreijer, in the manuscript for the group's latest album, Shaking The Habitual.
From the heavy-handed manuscript and bio written to accompany their first album in seven years to the album's eye piercing artwork, The Knife pull no punches in making sure the ideology behind Shaking The Habitual is made clear. And while it's not always executed gracefully, the two Swedish siblings certainly remain a relevant force on this indoctrinating album. What's most difficult to ignore upon first glance is Shaking the Habitual's expansive track listing. Clocking in near 100 minutes, with a 19-minute track positioned squarely at the center, Shaking the Habitual is an album bent on perturbing even the most dedicated of listeners. And herein lies the major crux of the album, the very essence of The Knife which allows them to differentiate from their peers: Shaking the Habitual is not music written for escapism; it's a social enigma masquerading as music. Instead of something to enjoy, "to please" as Dreijer put it, Shaking the Habitual rails against every conceptual conceit in modern music. Or at least that's what The Knife want you to think.

 

Julian Lynch Lines Underwater Peoples (2013) As somebody who studies ethnomusicology at a major university, a scholarly pursuit I assumed was long since dead, Julian Lynch is probably more qualified to being writing this review than myself. His dedication to music both in regards to society and history is admirable, but it is Lynch's own musical output that he will eventually enshrine him as memorable in a larger sense. On Lines, Lynch's sixth solo album, it is not as though the singer-songwriter/composer has approached the process in any appreciably different way, but the outcome here is vastly different than past efforts. Be it on Mare, Orange You Glad or even his spare tracks for old Underwater Peoples compilations, Lynch has been nothing if not consistent in the way he tweaks his sound and his vision per each album. It remains simple enough to pinpoint the Madison, WI. resident's sound, yet from record to record his noise never grew tiresome. Lines is by no means a pop record, no matter how convoluted the term has become in recent years, but Lynch finally seems willing to open up his sound to more rhythmic, sonically pleasing patterns. The result is a record that doesn't drain the listener mentally or emotionally quite as much as Lynch's earlier work, yet it retains much of what makes him so endlessly fascinating as an artist.

 

Blue Hawaii Untogether Arbutus Records (2013) Voice and space function as the two most important instruments on Untogether, a side project of Braids' Raphaelle Standell-Preston and collaborator Alexander Cowan, their debut album as Blue Hawaii. That's not to say that traditional composition -- at least in terms of electronic music -- doesn't conquer all on Untogether, but it does put the focus squarely on what is left out versus what is included. But does it accomplish enough with so little? Not exactly. Standell-Preston is obviously the star of Untogether, as her unrelenting, bellowing vocals are not only lethal in a very fundamental way, but the tricks and twists which Cowan adds to her voice make the record come alive in a powerful way. "Try To Be," one of the album's standouts, is built upon this very principle. Not only is the acoustic guitar constructed as a round; the vocals, down to specific breathes, are sampled and repeated in a beautiful array of instrumentation, destruction, and ultimately resurrection. But one gorgeous song does not an album make, and for as many beautiful moments as Blue Hawaii are able to create, there are equally disappointing ones as well.

 

Youth Lagoon Wondrous Bughouse Fat Possum Around the time Trevor Powers was set to release his first record for free, before Fat Possum or any other record label came calling -- or rather, begging -- there was an insatiable desire for home-recorded dream pop. Atlas Sound, Wild Nothing, Real Estate... the list goes on and on, an endless wealth of nostalgic-tinted, lo-fi recordings that fans, websites, and magazines couldn't get enough of. As a result, Youth Lagoon's initial rise always felt forced, and his debut nothing out of the ordinary, a collection of expected music. But now, as time has passed and tastes have shifted, Powers' brand of estranged psych ambiance somehow stands alone. And he wouldn't have it any other way. In talking about his debut, The Year of Hibernation, Powers consistently brought up the fact that his music is dictated by what haunts him, not by any contrived sense of nostalgia, no matter how retro or en vogue his songs may sound. The ability to escape the misappropriation of The Year of Hibernation proved vastly important in the growth of Youth Lagoon, but Wondrous Bughouse ushers in a new era for the ambitious musician.
ALBUM REVIEW CONTINUES BELOW
SUMMARY: "Instead of the mostly personal stories Powers was so insistent on telling throughout The Year of Hibernation -- an exercise no doubt necessary for his overall maturation -- Wondrous Bughouse is a much more outward-facing record."

 

IN SHORT: "It's not your average Black Moth Super Rainbow Album."

 

In discussing early album reviews for Cobra Juicy, Black Moth Super Rainbow's de facto leader Tobacco called the album "the 1st bmsr I really got right." It's an interesting comment, especially for a band who pride themselves on the reckless nature of their sound and their presence on stage. And then there's the fact that Cobra Juicy simply wouldn't exist in its current state if it wasn't for crowd-funding the project on Kickstarter. Especially considering the latter, there are certainly extraneous expectations surrounding the long awaited release. See full album review