Strangers, Marissa Nadler's second record for Brooklyn-based Scared Bones and seventh overall, mixes elements both familiar and unfamiliar to create an uneven, but often rewarding listen. As with the best of her prior work, the songs that hit still retain the ability to steal your breath. And while...

José González's music has always maintained a timeless quality. In the realm of contemporary folk, there is no competition for his soothing yet soulful tones and melodic, plucking guitar. On Vestiges & Claws, the first solo album he's released in 7 years, a new kind of electrifying energy is at play. Melding the intimately personal with the overwhelming impersonal, González takes us on a journey with him, creating the kind of depth that elevates a folk album from pleasant background music to a collection that will stay and grow with you -- as it has evidently stayed and grown with him -- for a long time.
Jose Gonzalez - Vestiges And Claws Album Review  
Jan St. Werner - Miscontinuum Album Review
Miscontinuum is a surreal, subjective sound opera; an abstract tone poem; a stream-of-consciousness dream monologue on the nature of time and memory.
"Every memory is just a loop. Returning again to places I once was, before, things are never as I remember them. Every home is also a burning house. Loop... and if one could draw this loop differently, then what? Different lengths? Four different lengths? Changes history's courses - places, people, and events; all of them never were. Could they be made anew with this loop? I doubt it. Is this really happening?" - Intro to Miscontinuum
Miscontinuum, from Mouse On Mars member Jan St. Werner, is the third installment in his Fiepblatter Catalogue series, was originally conceived as an operatic performance and radio play, with a very surreal, stream-of-consciousness libretti written by Oval's Marcus Popp, and recited, wonderfully, by Earth's Dylan Carlson, in his reedy voice. The text revolves around the misconceptions of time and memory, inspired by unique acoustic phenomena derived through digital phasing and musical time-stretching techniques, which is punctuated with St. Werner's tapestry of hypnotic electrical pulsing. Imagine, if you will, if Philip Glass had written an opera based on a text by Haruki Murakami, rather than illustrating Einstein standing on a beach; with Terry Riley on the keys, if it had been recorded thirty years later, and you're getting close to imagining Miscontinuum's minimalist electronics.

 

Though the haunting voice of Portland songstress Sara Jackson-Holman already lends itself well to a song bearing the title “Haunt Me”, the remix by hometown hero Natasha Kmeto transforms all of the bright notes of the piano-heavy original into atmospheric grey skies. Pair that with a number of delightful frills-and-lace...

Das Fluff - Meditation And ViolenceMeditation and Violence, the new album by Das Fluff, explores subject matters both private, personal, and universal, head-on and without caveats or reservation. Timeless themes of isolation and loneliness are recast for the internet era, while the uncomfortable truth of social networking, and the distorted nature of friendship that come with it, are placed under the unforgiving glare of Dawn Lintern's unflinching lyrics and vocal delivery. Musically, Meditation and Violence is electropop with a grand and expansive feel that belies the stripped back, reduced elements that go to make it up. This is music that has been allowed to breathe and, because of that, it is all the more powerful. Das FluffDesperate to find the sound that best suited her intent, Lintern parted company with the keyboard playing producer from her debut album and, despite technophobia, dived into the world of digital audio software for herself. The resultant album is more direct and cohesive and gels perfectly, despite being diverse in its range and reference points. Recalling Suicide and even, occasionally, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, the sound harnesses bi-polar collisions, track by track, as the music seeks to keep pace with the darkness of its messages.
As soon as something goes up for sale, it ceases to be solely about creativity and becomes a commodity. Nowhere is this more apparent than the much maligned new age genre, with its high ideals and pure intentions. It aims to relax the body, to clear the mind and elevate the spirit. It's somewhat ironic that it would become bland aural wallpaper for high-priced professionals. New age has become about the least cool genre imaginable, doomed to a half-life of Hallmark stores and mall listening kiosks. Now that vaporwave has taken over as the cynical soundtrack for the global marketplace, new age is due for a reassessment. On I Am The Center: Private Issue New Age Music in 1950 – 1990, the wonderful Light In The Attic reissue label turns back the clock to a time before new age was merely designed to shift units. To accomplish this, they turn to the world of private press LPs, self-published records by high-minded altruistic individuals, many tracks seeing official release here for the first time.
Tripping over sonic palates with spacey, soaring melodies that embrace the essence of pop in all its purposely dated glory, British electropop artist Little Boots returned earlier this year with her sophomore effort Nocturnes. Since then, the record has run through a number of hands for raucous remix treatment, beginning with a wonderfully hypnotic and dubby remix of "Broken Record" by the record's producer and DFA's co-founder Tim Goldsworthy. "Satellite" followed, with an entire accompanying package featuring remixes by Escort, Lindstrom, and John Dahlback, thus beginning the exploration of all possible club-ready territories Nocturnes could possibly offer.
Fast-forward to today -- and in the name of helping out the family, DFA's Larry Gus has offered up his own take on Little Boots' latest single, "Crescendo". Highlighting the track's already unique sound, Gus transforms "Crescendo"'s original percussion and chord-driven foundation into a melty bed of synths, vocals, and tribal drumming, topped with cascading electronic sounds and -- of course -- re-tooled samplings of Little Boots' clear, sing-song-y vocals. The resulting track retains the song's original light-heartedness, while combining it with the vague, exciting feeling of a skipped record and an eclectic collection of regional sounds and styles. See more Little Boots media after the jump, or enter below to win tickets to see her live in Seattle and Portland this week!

Little Boots - "Crescendo" (Larry Gus Remix)

WIN TICKETS TO SEE LITTLE BOOTS LIVE IN SEATTLE & PORTLAND THIS WEEK! LITTLE BOOTS TOUR DATES 9/22: Costa Mesa, CA @ Constellation Room 9/23: Los Angeles, CA @ Troubadour 9/24: San Francisco, CA @ The Independent 9/26: Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge w/ MDNR 9/27: Seattle, WA @ Decibel Fest w/ Light Asylum, Young Galaxy, MNDR 9/28: Vancouver, BC @ Fivesixty 11/8: Austin, TX @ Fun Fun Fun Fest
Jessy Lanza Pull My Hair Back Hyperdub (2013)Jessy Lanza - Pull My Hair Back Album Review - HyperdubIn the future, androids will cruise lounges looking to score with flesh-and-blood humans. When the couples will go back to their climate-and-dust-controlled apartments and begin pairing, the soundtrack that will start auto-playing in the background is Jessy Lanza's Pull My Hair Back. Like the Barry White of the cyber-generation, Lanza spins out smooth, sultry soul. Yet unlike White, whose deep voice anchored his music, Lanza's breathy, whispery soprano blends into the background, becoming another instrument in a silky sonic sheet you want to roll around in naked until the sun comes up. Befitting an album that will serve as the soundtrack to futuristic human/machine boogie nights, there doesn't seem to be an actual organic instrument on the album. Instead, the synthesizer and drum machine reign, and they manufacture a surprisingly warm and sultry soundscape — think Tangerine Dream all sexed up. At once spare yet lush, this is electropop with a brain — and a soul.