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...

All too often, apocalyptic films foretell the coming of the end in the form of big blowouts rather than a slow dismantling. In the overly-Hollywood 2012, buildings collapse and helicopters fall from the sky for no seemingly reason whatsoever. In War Of The Worlds and...

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...

"When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." - 1 Corinthians 13:11, King James Version
Kissinger Album Review
Childhood's End, by the Croydon, UK producer Kissinger, is the first of a two-part space opera, soundtracking the loss of innocence for a planet, a society, and an individual. It shares its title with a famous sci-fi novel by Arthur C. Clarke, where humanity meets its doom at the hands of an extraterrestrial race that look like the Biblical devil. Kissinger's record, however, isn't as bleak or as dystopian as Clarke's novel, reminding us that growing up needn't be all bad. You're able to do what you want, go where you please, eat dessert for breakfast, stay up all night, and decide where you'll live or who your friends will be. In a lot of ways, adulthood is just the best parts of childhood, refined and taken to their logical, and awesome, conclusions.

Jack Name - Weird Moons
Effortlessly eternal, Jack Name's Weird Moons harnesses the same joyous commitment to polyglot musical experimentalism of the likes of Thee Oh Sees and Ty Segall. Simultaneously evoking both the creaky wonder of lo-fi bedroom recordings and the organic richness of early 1970s "big board" recording studios, such as L.A.'s Sound City, it displays a masterful understanding of both songwriting and audio craft. These elements, coupled to his obvious exuberance at the creative potential of the arts at his disposal, make for an intoxicating and powerful mix. Enigmatic, and prone to the same promiscuity of naming that keeps fans of the Parquet Courts on their toes, Jack Name has released recordings under several different monikers. This choice is, we are told, a conscious one, reflecting as it does his current feeling that, regardless of status (he has worked with the likes of Ariel Pink, Cass McCombs and Tim Presley), his identity is only as important the sonic explorations he undertakes. It is fitting then that this man of many appellations should make such an album as this, with its many facets and styles.

 

Album Covers of the Year 2014
In contrast to modern patterns in music consumption comes our annual Album Covers of the Year feature, where, instead of forgetting album artwork even exists, we hyperextend ourselves to assert that it is an artform that is vitally connected to the spirit of the music. This feature, which is divided at times into thematic elements and at times into artistic medium, incorporates interviews with not only musicians, but also artists involved throughout the artistic process. We pride this list in being diverse and multi-faceted, as well as philosophically exploratory. See all of our entries from previous years or get started by choosing a category below. Happy travels through the artistic universe we've crafted for you.

Speculative visions and first forays in to the future have a way of quickly dating themselves before that future they portend has a chance to fully arrive. The result of this effect is the opposite of the one intended; they become mired in their present moment, ultimately signifying their own time much more than the one they were intended to herald. But what happens when such things rise again? Think of virtual reality: after an immediate cultural peak in the early 1990s with that Aerosmith video and the awful Lawnmower Man (1992) film, popular interest in the technology rapidly dwindled.It never exactly went away, though, and has in recent years received renewed attention thanks to the gaming and film industries and products like the Oculus Rift. Having circled back around from Jetsons-like cartoon status to being something that people are excited about again, virtual reality, as a concept, now exists in a kind of duality, in the perception of it. Because that '90s legacy is still so burned into the public consciousness, virtual reality retains its retro-ness, but now it also gets to say "I told you so."