Hands In The Dark was born at the end of a boozy party in 2010! What could have ended up just a brilliant idea and a short-lived story became the start of a great musical adventure, bringing together two lovers of "unclassified" music. Hands In the Dark pulls together various sounds with the common feature of mixing pop and experimental music. Grouping them under the title 'Expop' music, HITD has quickly reached its 12th release comprising CD's, vinyl and even tapes. HITD also means ''DIY''. We build everything from top to bottom, from contact with the bands we love to sending out the parcels. We always preserve our freedom with no artistic pressure. Such is the great enterprise of HITD. In short, a French label with a certain je-ne-sais-quoi... Thanks to Amélie and Alice...

 

Curation & Translation by Morgan & Onito; Additional Translation by Jeff Diteman Hands In The Dark est né fin 2010 lors d'une soirée arrosée! Ce qui aurait pu s'apparenter à une fulgurance doublée d'une histoire sans lendemain n'était en fait que le début d'une belle aventure musicale réunissant deux amis passionnés de musiques inclassables. Hands In The Dark rassemble des sonorités diverses et ayant pour dénominateur commun un côté expérimental allié à un versant pop. Rassemblé sous l'étiquette d' «Expop music», le catalogue du label comptera bientôt 12 références... Cd's, vinyles mais aussi cassettes. HITD, c'est aussi l'importance du côté « DIY ». Tout est de A à Z géré par nos soins, de la prise de contact avec les groupes que l'on aime à l'envoi des disques. Aucune entrave à notre liberté, aucune contrainte artistique... Tel est le vaste chantier de HITD. Merci à Amélie et Alice.

 

Whim is a collection of media focused on independent rock/pop/garage and everything surrounding it. Two autumnal records are on the horizon, courtesy of Midwest musicians Night Moves and Merseyside, UK's Stealing Sheep. Lots of satisfaction that you can feel in your bones here, as both bands transmute psychedelic habits into burnt country backdrops to create mesmerizing, earthy tracks. SEE: FULL POST + ALL WHIM POSTS + ALL MUSIC COLUMNS

 

Night Moves

Minneapolis musicians Night Moves remind one of Portugal. The Man's Americana-influenced psych rock on their latest singles, "Headlights" and "Country Queen". Speaking vaguely about feeling directionless, the band questions personal comforts ("I just don't know who I am") while simultaneously providing comfort in the form of gentle falsetto mantras ("It's alright") that bring the song to a slow and smooth close. Their debut album, Colored Emotions, comes out October 16th on Domino Records. Full tracklisting and tour dates to follow.

 

When others introduced Geist & The Sacred Ensemble to me as "weird folk-psych," I knew immediately that I would find in them a welcome change from more common interpretations of modern psychedelic music. To my surprise, though, what I soon found within the gritty confines...

"Pop music shouldn't always get a bad rap," says Top Pops!, a recurring selection of pop music highlights across a selection of styles.

Psychic Twin

This adorable single from Illinois pop duo Psychic Twin comes as a part of Lefse Records' upcoming 7" series, which begins June 26th. Psychic Twin are kicking off the series with "Gonna Get Her" b/w "Deepest Part". May the reverb-laden, echoey vocals of vocalist Erin Fein whirl into your brainnnnnn as they remind you about the temporary, transient nature of all things and the importance of letting go. Each single will be limited to 500 copies, and will also be made available digitally. The next installments will include artists like Field Mouse, Sun Glitters, Mister Lies, an electronic side project of Matthew Cooper of Eluvium, and Big Search (Matt Popieluch of Fools Gold/Foreign Born).

 

Pre-order entire 7" Series From Lefse Records

 

I discovered the work of Belgian artist Arn Gyssels years ago, thanks to Flickr. At that point, he seemed like he was just beginning to hone in on a tripped out collage style full of decay, glitches, and geometries, and I was instantly captivated. Now, on May 25th, 2012, Gyssels has a solo show in Antwerp, at the H.O.T.F.O.X gallery. Binary Fluidity will showcase "a series of contrasting fluidic forms that are believed to represent, within our own streams of consciousness, certain aspects of reality. It is exactly this content of experience and discovery in all its simplicity that will give the observer a visual tour on the border of an ectoplasmic experience." Gyssels has come a long way in defining his style, and in working his worldview more and more into his visual style. Below is a short Q&A -- just an introductory preview of the artist before a more in-depth collaborative feature with Gyssels and his girlfriend, Line Oshin.

 

(R) "This is one of the creatures that came out of putting black and white acrylic paint on a paper, scanning it in, and mirroring it from one side. You can see some form of underwater intelligent entity."

 

"Love and light. Everything should be treated with the utmost respect and understanding."

 

Multicultural Sounds travels the world for contemporary reinventions of cultural staples. This post is a miniature celebration of a couple of globe-trotting musician and producer Diplo's latest works.

 

Bonde do Rolê

Turning genre-mashing into a gun-slinging festivity of high delights are the theatrical Bonde do Rolê, who have a new album coming out later this summer on Mad Decent. Come June 26th, the world shall see Diplo's production chops at work on Tropicalbacanal, which will also be fucking bananas in terms of guest starrage: Caetano Veloso, Das Racist, The Death Set, and plenty of others help the band usher in what the press release describes as "the fresh wave of avalanche tropical (the bossa nova of modern Brazil)." Continued below, another Diplo special, in the form of beats on "Knock Out" featuring South Korea's G-Dragon and TOP, from the boy bad Big Bang.

 

Bands don't always show signs of aging by their third album, but Here We Go Magic have grown up with their latest, A Different Ship. The band was never loud and brash before, but they seem to have taken a turn for the drastically mellow on this album. They have clearly become more in touch with their later "Yo La Tengo phase" than their mystical, vibed-out phase of yore that was on trend with indie experimentalists like Animal Collective. In this vein, my initial recommendation for the album's title track of would have been the super relaxed "Made to Be Old," although in the end I see how the trippy, feedback-laden "A Different Ship" was appropriate. Walk with me while I explain.
HERE WE GO MAGIC - A DIFFERENT SHIP ALBUM REVIEW CONTINUED BELOW

If you even remotely keep tabs on the news cycle these days, it's easy to get bogged down in horrifically menacing thoughts of the world falling apart at the seams. The American military industrial complex has nearly doubled in size over the last decade, and it was already a ridiculously bloated frivolity. We continue to rape the environment for our own selfish expansionary agenda of warped materialism, with little respite in sight. There are no spiritual leaders of any real consequence despite the obvious need. The stupidest people with the least resources continue to have the most children, and their billionaire overseers encourage them to take great pride in their own shameless ignorance. And each time I think I've seen the lamest lowest common denominator pop culture moment possible, all I have to do is wait five minutes and something else will creep up knocking my faith in humanity down a few more pegs. It can get worse than Jersey Shore, and does. What to do, then, with all this bleakness constantly lurking in the outskirts of our collective unconscious? A true mystic can take even the darkest of human plotlines and shine the impenetrable light of our higher spiritual destiny on them, illuminating the hidden beauty in the seemingly most hopeless of scenarios. Which is where an artist like Chelsea Wolfe excels. She manages to take the unrelenting horror of her apocalyptic dreams and effectively channels it towards transcendent catharsis. I caught up with the enchanting Miss Wolfe recently by e-mail to chat about how exactly she pulls this off so effectively as well as her admiration of Ayn Rand, amongst other things. Read on, true believers.

 

Guitarist and songwriter for The Fresh & Onlys, Wymond Miles, has just released his first solo effort on Sacred Bones, entitled Earth Has Doors. In just twenty minutes, the visually-evocative four-track EP seems to progressively journey through vast territories of earth and space. Side A, with the tracks "Hidden Things Are Asking You To Find Them" and "Temples Of Magick," begins slowly in folk-psych fashion, as though Pink Floyd have picked up a cowboy crooner, with whom they are now ambling through the desert. The cowboy gradually finds his role by lethargically using his tools -- simple compositions of guitar and drum -- and spurs his steed along with an occasional bluesy twang. As the end of "Hidden Things Are Asking You To Find Them" nears, the cowboy has located himself, as evinced by his hooting and hollering and sudden embrace of instrumental crescendos and vocal swells. "Temples Of Magick" likewise follows with wolf-like howls of noise, and heavy drums and rim shots translate visually as the cowboy bursts through saloon doors with shotgun barrels smoking. He is newly confident, panting and practically free associating as a verbal and lyrical free being. What had begun as an unsure stumbling through parched lands has reached town with an energetic bang.