Another year of our favorites in Top Album Cover Artwork, and once again, we interview musicians and artists on the often-underappreciated work that goes into creating a product that not only tickles your ears, but speaks to your eyes and hearts. Album artwork, though often...

For the sixth year in a row, we present to you a rundown of the best CMJ​ Music Marathon shows to scamper to across town, with a wide selection that includes pop, hardcore, electronic, soul, and indie acts, including Shigeto, Briana Marela, Empress Of, Lushes,...

“There’s a lot of noise out there -- more bands than ever, newer forms of 'entertainment' or distractions for our time. This will be the first decade where history will talk more about the technology surrounding music than the artists. While it’s a challenge, I...

Spectral Hypnosis is a recurring series, featuring mesmerizing songs for one to lose sense of time and space, mind and body. This time: favorite new electronic meanderings from Rival Consoles and Peter Broderick, the consistent and darkly charming universe of ERAAS, the POLIÇA / GAYNGS member side-project Marijuana Deathsquads, and more from Tati Ana and Applescal & Ryan Davis.
SEE ALSO: FULL POST + ALL SPECTRAL HYPNOSIS POSTS + ALL COLUMNS

Rival Consoles & Peter Broderick - "Soul"

Rival Consoles' synthy video game percolations meet with the expressive vocals of Portland's Peter Broderick on "Soul", a hypnotic adventure of a track. Taking the isolated vocal foundation from "Proposed Solution to the Mystery of the Soul" off Broderick's 2012 record, These Walls of Mine, this "remix" transforms the minimal, percussive ricochets of the original into its own busy, expressive undulations. Occupying a towering and dynamic sonic space, this track is one of my favorites of the year, and at once makes me want to hear more from Rival Consoles and Peter Broderick -- which is a rare feat for remix tracks, which often retain very little charm from their original inspirations. This track comes from the London producer's EP Odyssey, which you can stream below in its entirety. It is all good, and it's available now on Erased Tapes. Peter Broderick has also just reissued Float 2013, a lovely rework of his modern classical record from 2008, Float. Stream it here.

The music video for "Crescent" is a bizarre piece of work, minimal and almost Lynchian in feel, without much going on save for slow movements and small textural or geometric changes. Directed by Nick Criscuolo, it opens with what look like paintings roaring, like unbridled fires, to be followed by the slow morphing between some unusually magnetic characters (a Frankenstein-like mortician and a space cadet?). The entire music video is largely in greyscale, tinged only by carefully-placed red accents -- but such a color scheme seems appropriate for the melancholy sense of mystery that ERAAS seem to prefer (they'd rather not speak about their music videos, for example). In the full post, you can view the music video for "Crescent", along with the band's previous video for "Ghost". Both live in a similar dreary universe of beautiful confusion, but "Ghost" incorporates some more traditional music video shots of musical performance, well-timed to rhythms, and some fluttering cloaked figures. Directed by Major Jass, a husband and wife duo.
 

SPECTRAL HYPNOSIS A recurring series, featuring mesmerizing songs for one to lose sense of time and space, mind and body. This installment is a particularly intense one, reserved for those who understand that noise can be a hypnotic mechanism. Here are intensely aggressive sounds from The Silent Moon, minimal techno from Silent Servant, and offerings and remixes from ERAAS.
SEE ALSO: FULL POST + ALL SPECTRAL HYPNOSIS POSTS + ALL COLUMNS

The Soft Moon

Somehow, Luis Vasquez of The Soft Moon (and Lumerians) can release tracks like "Die Life" and embrace gothic dance vibes without coming off as annoyingly trite. Zeroes, his latest album to be released via Captured Tracks, doesn't seem like the cheeriest of records, as it seems to not only wallow but actively embrace all things doom and apocalypse. You can also here "Insides" on Captured Tracks' Soundcloud. The press release gives a summary of the album's tracks as follows:
Zeros opens with "It Ends," a rumbling eerie epic that explodes and then fades. The slowing breath and pulse at the finish signify our break with reality as consciousness drifts deeper into Vasquez' world. Welcoming us into "Machines," a demon utters unclear incantations over snapping drums and flange-warped tones, while the titular song gives us a beat to dance to as a strange voice gushes lascivious "aahhhs" from a cloud of swirling synths. Songs like "Insides" and "Crush" feel utterly inward-looking-a loner's cry buried in soil and metal shavings-but "Remember the Future" bounces like a twisted John Carpenter score, and "Die Life" lashes out at everything within reach. Listen closely and you'll hear the sounds of the creatures and people that survived whatever catastrophe created this space: chirping insects, bawling whales, strained howls, jungle percussion, tribal chanting.
I've not heard the album in its entirety yet, but it comes out the day before Halloween, and if "Die Life" is any indicator, it will serve as the perfect soundtrack to that pagan holiday. Tracklisting and tour dates in the full post.