Alternatingly celebratory and apocalyptic, moon Over miami -- a collaborative album curated by Archival Feedback, a long-time duo consisting of Emile Milgrim and T. Wheeler Castillo -- subverts the old standard of the same name with a series of remixes and re-imaginings. Written in 1935 by songwriters Joe Burke and...
Archival Feedback, the new audio-visual collaboration from Florida's Other Electricities Records straddles the fence between both natural and manufactured environments, as well as people's relations to them. Its origins come from Emile Milgrim and T. Wheeler Castillo, who set out to document the landscape of their hometown, Miami, FL, after...
Spectral Hypnosis is a recurring series, featuring mesmerizing songs for one to lose sense of time and space, mind and body. This installment features a track premiere from the collaborative Archival Feedback "call and response" experiment, as well as a track from Chile's Follakzoid....
Black DolphinOther Electricities / Roofless Records
Dim Past probably isn't going to get too much DJ love for his new EP, Black Dolphin. That's not a statement about the quality of the music therein, mind you -- nor do I mean to suggest that it isn't danceable. The thing is that this lo-fi rager sounds like the shredded fragments of techno waveforms managing to escape from the confines of your local basement show's shitty PA speakers. Where many modern producers aim for precision and clarity, hoping to have their babies pushed out through Funktion-One speakers or blasted into miles of Euro festival goers, Black Dolphin is submerged under a dank ass layer of lo-fi resin more commonly found caked around Bay Area psych rock tapes and ultra-limited hardcore 7"s.
I mention those unrelated genres because while there are certainly people out there making harsh techno (Regis and Marcel Dettman come to mind), it's been a while since electronic dance music has sounded this DIY; the record has the feel of Surgeon's Force+Form in terms of presentation. Case in point is lead track "Ghostlord Masterclock", a 4/4 stomper that shreds with the intensity of Jeff Mills' dystopian Waveform Transmissions. The track says something about the adrenal dump of techno in its rawest form; this is the way it sounds in your gut rather than your ears after hours of sweating under the glare of a nonstop kick drum pounding on the one. It also serves as a wonderful example of the American underground's turn towards EDM. Where once our oscillators churned out heaps of white noise into surrealist oblivion, recent years have seen those feedback loops start to wrap themselves around that instantly recognizable beat -- that not only harkens back to the club, but to the instinctual metronomic pulse on which we humans have based our movements since time immemorial.
To be old and punk rock is to be old and potentially irrelevant, and that is, to a certain degree, why most punk bands have such a limited life cycle. How can anyone maintain the anger, aggression and emotional commitment to hold onto the values and morals deemed important as a teenager, without the world grinding it all down into a jaded package of disillusion?
There is nothing that says that being in a punk band means you have to start when you are 20 and cease when you are 27, but to a certain degree, the writing is on the wall the moment you start. You may have been bellowing discontent to a crowd of 20-year-olds with your first vinyl, but after the third album is released, an older you will probably still be bellowing that discontent to a crowd of 20-year-olds.
With that in mind, it is completely understandable why bands in the realm live and die so quickly, and those that stick around for decades are few and far between.
February 10th, 2012 @ Showbox at the Market, Seattle
But Gainsville, Florida quartet Hot Water Music are one of the few between. Hot Water Music released Finding the Rhythms in 1995. After eight full-lengths, numerous EPs, and returning from an "indefinite hiatus", the torchbearers of the post-hardcore/emo wave of the mid-'90s are still going strong. For their tour in support of their latest release, Exister, HWM took out for support two very similar bands in different points in their career: La Dispute and The Menzingers.
When reminiscing about Hot Water Music, most people bring up how they were their favorite band at one point or how no one else spoke closer to home lyrically, etc., etc. For many in the punk community, Hot Water Music proved that you can wear your heart on your sleeve and not sacrifice any points for it. This evening at the Showbox in Seattle, the legions of kids that sang along to their every word 15 years ago have aged and matured likewise, rounding their set out with one of the oldest median age punk crowds you'd see in a while. When "Wayfarer" rang out, the crowd cheered almost louder than the band sang. The mosh pit was active, but not in a stupidly vicious way, and there wasn't a single crowdsurfer until a teenager finally was able to get on the shoulders of someone else to make his mad dash for the barrier between the crowd and the stage.
HOT WATER MUSIC - EXISTER ALBUM REVIEW
LIVE SHOW REVIEW CONTINUED BELOW
Before bands started reuniting to be cool, Gainsville, Florida punk stalwarts Hot Water Music gave a quick hiatus the middle finger it deserves. The quartet put out a few live 7" in past years, but Exister is the band's first full length in eight. The question remains as it always does with all punk -- a musical genre that doesn't really age the best -- do Hot Water Music still have the energy to pull the whole act off?
"The curiosity of growth, the growth of perception, and accepting the fact that no matter what, we're still changing, and still growing. Whether we're saying that literally or figuratively is up to the listener."...
When I think of Asthmatic Kitty, my ears immediately conjure sounds of organic acoustic guitars, beautiful harmonies, and, of course, banjos. Artists like Sufjan Stevens, DM Stith, and The Welcome Wagon all come to mind, but the label's newest release from Epstein borrows little from the label's pedigree. Sealess See...
While I tend to harp on this fact, it is incredibly rare to find a label that is a true tastemaker for a specific genre and consistently delivers. For this reason, Hello Sir Records out of Athens, GA stands out and has been an absolute gem of a label since...