Laraaji, whose name honors the divine energy of the sun, is a radiant personality who often plays up solar influences by dressing head-to-toe in a bright orange color, considered by Eastern yogis and color theorists as symbolic of transcendence. Sun Piano, his summer 2020 release on the British label, All...

Psychedelic electronic music lost one of its leading lights on July 20, 2015, when pioneering kosmische musician Dieter Moebius succumbed to a longstanding battle with cancer, leaving behind a constellation of friends, family, and artistic collaborators to mourn his passing and reflect on his legacy. To commemorate his passing, the German...

An imposing wall of rotary dials, turreted by oscilloscopes, draped in spaghettied cables, emitting a series of creaks, groans, and unearthly bubbles, is one of the most iconic images of electronic music. These monolithic machines -- known as modular synthesizers -- have had an enormous impact on how we visualize...

Though it may be poor form, I'm going to start this review with my one unrelenting frustration with Martin Gore's new solo album MG: every song is just too damn short. Seriously, these tracks are incredible, and they just beg you to get lost in them, but every time I...

Sankt Otten - Engtanz Depression
The genre formerly known as post-rock has had a long, convoluted, and troubled history. It was originally used in print by the rock critic Simon Reynolds to describe bands like Talk Talk and Bark Psychosis, who were bringing in elements of less whitebread music - disco, African rhythms, jazz, krautrock, and Jamaican dub -- and extending their structures to more widescreen classical formats, and blending them with the primal fury of rock 'n roll. Post-rock may have also been the last and greatest victim of co-option and conformity (or can at least share that honor with dubstep), before finally succumbing to postmodern dissolution for good. What became of post-rock? Oh-so-serious dudes in black clothes with long band names, mindlessly aping Mogwai and Explosions In The Sky, turned what could have been the most promising mixture of head and heart, guts and chops into a marketing cliché. Thankfully, the German instrumental duo Sankt Otten rewind the clock with Engantz Depression, and make us reassess the possibilities of blending rock instruments with electronic music for a compelling hybrid that takes post-rock back to its roots, to begin again.

 

HealeyIsland On Ponzi Bridge White Label MusicFrances Fukuyama's book The End Of History, published in 1992, went directly against Jacques Derrida's Spectres of Marx, predicting the global triumph of Capitalism and of the Spectacle. Greg Healey's music, as HealeyIsland, is the soundtrack of sprawling shopping complexes and virtual dating sites. This is the world predicted by Walter Benjamin, in his unfinished Passagenwerken (The Arcades Project): the birth of the pop culture, the beginning of the shopping mall, of commerce, of virtuality. It's the simulacrum's smug satisfaction that it is real, that it has it all under control, under wraps. It's a dustbin museum, full of never-ending card catalogs, everything dated and numbered, and we are told to go pilfer, go explore. But the museum is not real life; Healey remembers the outside, the sunshine and dirty gutters. Healey both pays reverence to and makes a mockery of high-definition, high-gloss early-'90s CGI utopianism in On Ponzi Bridge. Healey loves and hates the spectacle, and fights back with the keenest of British weapons: sarcasm.
 
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.

 

Dead Oceans' Sun Airway, comprised of Philadelphia's Jon Barthmus and Patrick Marsceill, is are not only indie pop extraordinaires, but are musicians with an understanding of aural-visual relationships. The choices they make in selecting collaborators result in visuals richly sympathetic to their musical output and evoke the same sense of wonder and romance that their music does. The album cover for Sun Airway's 2012 release, Soft Fall, is adorned with a beautiful woman caught beneath a stringed web of falling flowers, porcelain china, and fine silver. It was painstakingly crafted by Japanese art collective NAM. In the bi-lingual Japanese and English interview and feature below, Barthmus and NAM's art director and designer Takayuki Nakazawa offer their perspectives on the creative process, as we further explore the work of both parties.
JAPANESE TO ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS BY MORGAN HARKNESS Takayuki Nakazawa (NAM): Our aim was to perfectly match the world of Sun Airway's music and take that world of sound and enlarge its image visually. I believe that the music and the cover visuals that go with the creation of an album have an extremely intimate relationship. Music and visuals have the power to overcome country and language to convey a message. Creating something so intimate between the US and Japan was an incredible experience, and most of all it was fun! We would like to take this opportunity to extend our appreciation to Jon Barthmus for inviting us to this wonderful project. 私達が今回目指したのはSun Airwayの音楽の世界と完全にマッチし、さらに音の世界をビジュアルによってイメージの視覚的拡大をする事でした。アルバム制作における音楽とカバービジュアルは本来とても密接な関係性をもっているものだと思います。音楽やビジュアルは言語や国境を超えて伝達していく力があり、今回、日本とアメリカの間で密な相互関係をもって制作が行われた事は、私達にとって大変良い経験で、なによりも楽しかった!このような素敵なプロジェクトに私達を誘ってくれたJon Barthmusさんに、この場をお借りして感謝をしたいと思います。

 

Portland artist Ian Michael Anderson's latest collection of gouache paintings contrast earth tones and light pink hues with symbolic imagery, to powerful and striking visual effect. In Anderson's own words, his paintings aim to address chaos and conflicts in life as well as order, to help him gain insight into their distinct natures. He explains by saying, "... Dualistic narratives take shape [and] opposing forces are typically revealed: Life and death, good and evil, man and beast, predator and prey, war and peace. These dreamlike and often nightmarish fables reflect an outward and subconscious view of man and his destructive role in this world. Through this lens, my own place in these mostly impossible scenarios can be triangulated, and I am on my way to resolving the confrontation and understanding the need for such destruction." You can see these pieces in person on First Thursday, May 3rd, at Backspace Gallery and Cafe (115 NW 5th Ave) in Portland, and read a brief Q&A with Anderson below.