Swami & The Blind Shake Album ReviewInstrumental surf music has achieved a place in modern culture that seems to be at odds with its origins. The roaring breakers, the blue sky and the bright Californian sun suggest a music that should be joyous; however, within the lexicon of this genre there is an ever present dark undertow. It is this contradictory presence -- this sense of danger and even evil, that has, since it's emergence into the mainstream around 1961, given this music its enduring appeal. Bands like The Fireballs, The Spotnicks, The Ramrods and The Surfaris pioneered this unhinged, amped (oh yes, I am using original '60s surf slang here) celebration of the wipeout and the quasimoto. Their West Coast and Hawaiian sound, washing up as far away as the shores of the UK in the form of the Shadows, was popular throughout the world in 1960s and 1970s. The modern reinvigoration of surf rock is accredited by many to the use by Quentin Tarantino of "Bullwinkle Pt II" by the Centurions and "Surf Rider" by The Lively Ones in Pulp Fiction (1994). However, this peculiar and hyperactive music, that seems to go so well with murderous and terrifying imagery, influenced a good many bands much earlier, including the B-52s and the Cramps in 1980s. One thing is, however, certain: since Pulp Fiction this music has been overused in a great many media campaigns. Over the last twenty years, it has surfaced in adverts for everything from toothpaste to banks and, because of this, there was a distinct danger that this evocative music might just become a part of our culture's aural wallpaper and be stripped of any potency. Which brings us to the new album, Modern Surf Classics, by Swami & The Blind Shake. Both authentic and imaginative in its approach this album captures the spirit of the original music, whilst successfully recasting it for the 21st century. The combination of the propulsive and bombastic energy of Minneapolis' own psych punk combo, The Blind Shake, along with John Reis' instrumental brilliance, has produced an album that carries the listener forward on a groundswell of pure and brilliant energy.

 

Lucky me; I've managed to see the French electro-surf-punk band La Femme twice in the past month! Touring the States following the release of their insane new 15-track deluxe album, Psycho Tropical Berlin, La Femme are a Parisian six-piece that encompass the city's stereotypes in...

Remix City Sifting through mountains of remix trash so you don't have to, in an attempt to find the ones that contribute to their originals. Today, modern Cambodian rock band The Cambodian Space Project get some love from David Gunn, and the single from How To Dress Well's upcoming record, Total Loss, gets remixed by UK producer Koreless.
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How To Dress Well + Koreless

How To Dress Well just premiered a new track today via NPR, entitled "& It Was U". This post is not about that, though you can listen to that sparse track HERE. Instead, this post is fixated on the remix of "Cold Nites" that UK producer Koreless did, which is like a tinkering melody emanating from an opened jewel box. This track is from HTDW's upcoming record, Total Loss, which comes out on September 17th on Weird World and Acephale. The original, in true Tom Krell fashion, is much more dramatic, somber, and R&B-oriented. Pre-order the record HERE or HERE. Limited editions available; full tracklisting below. How To Dress Well - "Cold Nites" (Koreless Remix) How To Dress Well - "Cold Nites" (Original)

 

"Pop music shouldn't always get a bad rap," says Top Pops!, a recurring selection of pop music highlights across a selection of styles. Austin's Deep Time get feminist, Shawn Lee has one foot in space and in the ocean, and Seams bring some math into surf.

Deep Time

A few seconds of Austin-based male-female duo Deep Time, and you know that they have a creative fire burning under their asses, and plenty of steez to go around! The contrast between rhythmic basslines of mega low-end satisfaction and the vocals of Jennifer Moore (Voxtrot, The Carrots), which switch between harmoniously playful and erratically yelpy, really carry this shit forth with a swagger and a lean. The record comes out today, July 10th, via Seattle garage/rock imprint Hardly Art. Miss Moore also wrote an essay commenting on an intentionally sexist (in the name of humor that was cursed upon some and entertained by others) review in Vice Magazine. See it HERE. See full post for tour dates and a video teaser of the album. Deep Time - "Homebody" - DOWNLOAD MP3 [audio:/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Deep-Time_Homebody.mp3|titles=Deep Time - Homebody] Deep Time - "Clouds" - DOWNLOAD MP3 [audio:/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Deep-Time_Clouds.mp3|titles=Deep Time - Clouds]

 

YEAR ZERO Vehicles, dirt, and griminess recalling those from Black Mountain's video for "Old Fangs" receive a colorful lift via projections in caves, beautiful sunsets, hot babes, and...

Much better known in Europe than in the US (thanks in large part to John Peel), France's Herman Dune have been around for over a decade, busy pioneering the "anti-folk" movement that has had a mutually influential relationship with countless bands, from Belle & Sebastian...

There's been a swell of dark loud psych-prog coming out these days, which I for one couldn't be happier about. In the last six months or so, I've found myself completely immersed in new discs by Lesbian, Titan, the Psychic Paramount, Intronaut, and now, Hidden...

Mississippi Studios Portland, OR 2011 - 04/12 Cults are the prime example of a remarkable hype-driven story -- of a faceless band lacking a full album, yet still manages to land a high-profile gig like Coachella. I can't tell you who exactly is in the band due to...