!!! Thri!!!er Warp Records !!! are by definition FUN. Once you move past the confusion of how you pronounce their band name (it's "Chk Chk Chk"), you realize that it just adds an extra emphasis on maximum excitement. Their musical goal in life is to get you pumped, get your body moving, and maybe even get you dancing. And this they have achieved, with every one of their previous records; they've been shaking booties since 2001, and they don't plan on stopping now. Their fifth full-length, Thr!!!er, definitely has a dance rock element similar to the band's previous releases, but there seems to be a unexpected pop music emphasis to this album. The opening track, "Even When the Water is Cold," is an odd choice for a start. It sounds off-kilter for !!!, who always struck me as a band who didn't really care what you think (hell, they don't care if you can't figure out their band name) -- but now seem to be heading into more mainstream territory. This is a new realm for the band: making normal pop songs, with no synthy dance tangents, or spaced out surreal moments of zen.

 

Bleep is a column focusing on varying degrees of electronic music news, videos and MP3s. In this post, Bibio shares a brand new single in advance of his new album, Soulwax remixes Pulp for a special Record Store Day release and Disclosure finally discloses some info on their debut album.
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Bibio

When Bibio released "À Tout À L’Heure," it was hard to get a sense of where the English producer was headed on his seventh studio album Silver Wilkinson. With the arrival of "You," the second single from the forthcoming album due May 14th on Warp, Bibio once again throws listeners for a loop, trading the rather breezy sound of "À Tout À L’Heure" for a massive, dance floor ready beat. Both tracks feel like the natural extension of The Avalanches or other sample-heavy artists, turning the assumed into something revelatory.

 

As Record Store Day celebrates its 6th anniversary, with vinyl sales posting decade high numbers in 2012, there's no reason to think the yearly event won't continue to expand in 2013, making the dash for collectors and fans alike an even more chaotic experience if you're looking to score the most rare or exciting vinyl. Here are some of the releases we're most excited about. Now if only we had the bank accounts to match our wish lists. View the complete list of recommended releases.

Brian Eno X Nicolas Jaar X Grizzly Bear

As far as superstar collaborations go, this year's Brian Eno X Nicolas Jaar X Grizzly Bear 12" is as exciting as they get. Not only do the three artists bridge decades worth of musical output in their own right, their creativity and collective mastery has surely inspires countless others. This Warp Records package finds Jaar remixing Brian Eno's "Lux 2" and Grizzly Bear's "Sleeping Ute." All 2,000 of these 12" double A-sides should go quick, as this is no doubt one of the most anticipated releases of the event. VINYL INFORMATION Designed and printed by Edwin Pickstone & Ivor Williams on a FAG Control 525 Swiss-built semi-automatic cylinder proofing press in Glasgow. Type was a mix of 35 line sans condensed and 50 lined grotesque super-condensed and was left 80% black, deliberately broken print to echo the sentiment of remixes carrying the remnants of the original.

 

BRIGHT LIKE NEON LOVE TRACKLIST A1 Time Stands Still A2 Future A3 Saturdays A4 Saturdays (Reprise) A5 Going Nowhere B1 DD-5 B2 That Was Just A Dream B3 Zap Zap B4 The Twilight B5 Autobahn Music Box B6 Bright Neon Payphone B7 A Dream

Cut Copy

Before the release of In Ghost Colours in 2008, the thought that Australian electro poppers Cut Copy would soon become a transcendent and influential dance act seemed impossible. It was only their second record in four years, and their debut Bright Like Neon Love was a faded memory, only ever charting in their native country. But it was a critical darling of sorts, heralded as something akin to Daft Punk, The Human League and New Order. And while Record Store Day won't propel Bright Like Neon Love to soaring sales numbers, this year's reissue of the 2004 record will hopefully cement the album's legacy to a newer generation almost a decade later. 4,000 of these 12" long players will be pressed and released by Modular.

 

TAME IMPALA EP TRACKLISTING A1 Desire Be Desire Go A2 Skeleton Tiger A3 Half Full Glass Of Wine B1 Forty One Mosquitoes Flying In Formation B2 Slide Through My Fingers B3 Wander

Tame Impala

Tame Impala's Innerspeaker burst onto the scene in 2010 with it's crunchy, psychedelic guitar work and overall retro tinted sound. Bold but not overstated, Innerspeaker re-established proper rock 'n roll in a lot of ways for the coming decade. But in 2008, the band's self-titled EP was really what set the group on this path. While it maybe doesn't have the bravado and polish of Innerspeaker, or last year's Lonerism, the Tame Impala EP does feature a great deal more for diehard fans who originally missed this record. Modular will release 5,000 of these 12" records, all pressed to red vinyl.

 

Last year, the NSFW video for Kirin J. Callinan's "Way To War (WIIW)" caught my attention with its punk rock Lars Von Trier visual choices. Just recently, the same director, Kris Moyes, released a music video for Grizzly Bear's "gun-shy" -- crystallizing what I would say is the best track from the band's latest offering, Shields, into a sputtering-in-time work of natural and "scientific" strangeness. Expect a compare-and-contrast interview with Moyes about both of these videos in the coming month -- but for now, relish in the animated .gifs and the video's delicious sleight of hand, tripped out subtle magic. Full clip inside, along with an initial statement from Moyes about the work.

 

In our 2012 Album Covers of the Year feature, we once again get our hands on everyone we can. Through interviews with designers, musicians, labels, and plenty of others, we take a close look at just how many hands are in the pot when it comes to the album artwork process. Inside this feature are 98 album covers spanning a wide array of sonic and visual styles, each selected for its own unique contribution to the world. They are not ranked; instead, they are broken down into sections based on conceptual underpinnings or artistic mediums, and then are displayed on spectrums. Get started by navigating into any of these six sections: Geometric & Pattern-Based Classically-Influenced Narrative & Symbolic Photography & Manipulations Painting & Illustration Collage, Sculpture & Mixed Media You can also see last year's at 2011 Year-End Respect For Album Cover Art
 

 

There is a moment on the new Flying Lotus record -- let's call it the first five seconds -- when one has to decide whether to climb aboard Steve Ellison's shimmering magic carpet for the next half hour (or century... drugs like this tend to distort time a little) or to simply survey the beautiful landscape he's laid out on his newest album-trip, Until the Quiet Comes. I say this because like all Flying Lotus records, there are a myriad of experiences to be had within the layers of subtle details, ranging from active to passive and or up and down to goddamn spiritually ecstatic.

 

Now in its tenth year, Seattle's Decibel Festival has grown from a tiny electronic celebration to a world-renowned music festival without sacrificing attention to detail along the way. From fabric wristbands to the notable lack of corporate sponsors -- save for ones that directly affect the electronic music scene in some way -- Decibel has retained a number of the charming qualities which usually become lost to larger festivals. Its continued stress on the audio-visual merging of music and motion art continue to push the festival forward as well, as Seattle's best venues were sometimes upgraded with video equipment and makeshift spaces were sometimes transformed into festival-worthy ones. This review highlights some notable shows from Decibel 2012, ranging from excellent to quite mediocre, and includes write-ups of Andy Stott, Jimmy Edgar, Clark, Demdike Stare, and Orbital. SEE FULL FESTIVAL RECAP AND PHOTO GALLERY

Jimmy Edgar

The Decibel Festival guide claimed that the Warp Records showcase on Wednesday evening would be for fans of Prince, which led to some confusion for me. Would that be in reference to main headliner and mad music scientist Clark? Certainly not. Then who? The winner of the prestigious association -- and pleasant surprise for the festival -- turned out to be 1983-baby and astrology-enthusiast Jimmy Edgar. Edgar, a most handsome and dapper fellow, rose to the stage behind a stripped-down version of the LED light rig he usually travels with, ready to perform his 2012 Hotflush release, Majenta. No hitches here, it seemed... until the projections behind Edgar began to fill the screen. The generic and low-quality visuals, which were more suitable for Windows 95 screensavers than for Edgar's clean productions, seemed like a stock offer from Decibel rather than Edgar's own choice. They became a painfully glaring and vibe-dampening reminder that the newfound "necessity" of supplying electronic shows with accompanying visuals can sometimes go awry when the visuals are tasteless, or of a different taste than the musician's music. They were distracting, to say the least, and it was unfortunate that habit dictated that they received much more attention than they warranted. (Apologies, I suppose, if they are indeed Edgar's creation, though I doubt it, and the criticism remains.) Unfortunate visuals aside, Edgar queued up quite a dance party by passionately embracing every type of electronic music that might even be tangentially related to Prince -- from C&C Music Factory-type club jams and dirty '80s breaks to breathy R&B-influenced slow jams. Soul was at the heart of all of Edgar’s music, and its presence in his body was also clear, from his intense concentration to his spontaneously fabulous uses of vocoder. Such sensory vibage was not lost upon the audience, either. Never have I seen a grouping of men so stoked about the performance of another man, as man after ecstatic man screamed, "Jimmaaaay!!!!!" as though they were going to tear their shirts off in support of Edgar at any given minute. Twas one of the best shows I saw at Decibel, and most certainly one that made a lasting impression.

 

Grizzly Bear Shields Warp Records With the release of Shields this past week, the transformation of Grizzly Bear from an indie band into a full-fledged pop band is in its final stages. If you've been watching their trajectory over the past 6-7 years, you'll know exactly what I mean. The band started with a rather lo-fi, moody, and cerebral debut with Horn of Plenty (still one of my favorites); the focus then was largely on the sparsely laid out guitar lines and the beautiful, haunting harmonies; there was an experimental leaning that made the whole record extra interesting. This was reasonable, considering that it was a home recording not initially meant for mass consumption. As the band itself became larger and more fully formed, so did the music, and they transcended to a very different style on Yellow House (read: upbeat, Beach Boys-influenced, and more easily accessible). Their third full-length, Vecktamist threw Grizzly Bear into an entirely new stratum with a large listener base, and songs placed in commercials, TV, and movies. It was hard to go into a store without hearing "Two Weeks" being played. Their following soundtrack to Blue Valentine was exquisite but also pushed them further into the collective consciousness. SEE FULL ALBUM REVIEW
 

Decibel Festival Showcase & Musician Picks

We've done the dirty work of flying through the expansive Decibel Festival 2012 schedule to select emerging and established acts which we think are most worthy of your valuable time. Sometimes this manifests as us gushing over complete all-night showcases or focusing on the Optical series, which merges visual art and music; other times, we dish out praise for solitary wheelers and dealers. Hear audio clips, read summaries, and more in this massive festival preview guide.

Decibel Festival Conferences

Music pioneers, experts, and newbies alike take heed! Decibel Festival's 2012 Conferences are a glimpse of what it's like to go to school for a degree in electronic music wizardry. Featuring collaborations with some fine and forward-thinking folks of the electronic world, these conferences run the gamut, giving those who want to get hands-on and technical the opportunities to do so, as well as offering more relaxed lectures for the bashful yet curious. Our choices for the 2012 Conference events focus heavily on the cross-disciplinary, emerging technologies, and panels which directly involve audience participation.

Decibel Festival After-Hours Parties

Those who: a) want to squeeze every last bit of glorious music-watching opportunity out of Decibel but are frustrated by the very human quality of being limited by time; and b) don't want to pay for a Decibel Festival pass but want to witness the international and national touring acts that will be in Seattle; will find some alleviation in Decibel Festival's After-Hours events. There are seven total, presented by Resident Advisor, Red Bull, and more.

Decibel Festival Boat Parties

Of all the Seattle experiences one can have, there's nothing quite like a sunny afternoon floating atop the waters of Lake Washington and Lake Union with skyscrapers, houseboats, nature, and sunshine in sight. Decibel Festival has expanded their annual boat parties from two days to four this year, in an effort to provide more intimate experiences for all showgoers.

Decibel Festival Lineup 2012

 

Flying Lotus has just released a short film to promote his upcoming record, Until The Quiet Comes, and we feature it below, along with an oldie but equally goodie -- Shabazz Palaces' short film for their 2011 record, Black Up. See both videos after the jump.

 

Flying Lotus

Director Kahlil Joseph has put together a nearly 4-minute-long short film that begins with haunting images of violence upon urban youth. That destruction, though, soon turns into liberation via dance and resurrection, with three tracks from Flying Lotus -- "See Thru To U", "Hunger", and "Getting There", that feature Niki Randa and Erykah Badu -- providing a female-driven backdrop that hints towards the possibility of second chances and better decisions. Until The Quiet Comes will be released October 2nd in North America and October 1st elsewhere.

 

Shabazz Palaces

Shabazz Palaces' short film for 2011's Black Up is longer, at nearly five minutes, and a bit more spastic than the Flying Lotus promo. Its images, which duck out from the grit of New York City into expansive nature, are an excellent visual pairing for the music of Shabazz Palaces, which combines urbanity with organic instrumentation and African influences. It's no wonder that this film bears resemblance to the piece Kahlil Joseph did for Flying Lotus; he directed this one, also.

 

Bleep is a column focusing on varying degrees of electronic music news, videos and MP3s. For this week, I'm tired of some forerunning trends in glitched out electronica that often possesses, I feel, little to no human qualities! Instead, I will be focusing on electronically-minded musicians who build their work primarily off manipulations of analog sounds. Most recently, such individuals who have captured my heart have included Co La and Kone; now, a submission from the unknown Glass Boy and the epic Flying Lotus both fall under this same heading. This mixture of soulful passion with experimental electronics -- not just in an intentional sense on the part of the artist, but in an aural sense that translates to the listener -- is what's highlighted in this post. (That and a new Lindstrøm track!)
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Flying Lotus

Flying Lotus' latest, "See Thru To U", comes from his upcoming album, Until The Quiet Comes, which drops October 2nd. Erykah Badu is featured on the track, and the album sees other guest stars like Niki Randa, Thundercat, Laura Darlington, Niki Randa, and most famously Thom Yorke of Radiohead. With such a lineup and such a powerful track record, Until The Quiet Comes is pretty much guaranteed to be sick as all hell, with killer artwork to boot. After the jump, you can stream the first album single "See Thru To U", check out a full list of tour dates, learn more about the special versions of the vinyl, and hear his Adult Swim series single.

 

SPECTRAL HYPNOSIS A recurring series, featuring mesmerizing songs for one to lose sense of time and space, mind and body. Last time's was a dark baby featuring BEAK>, Nguzunguzu, and Outlands, and this time doesn't really let up either, with new tracks from Matmos, who explore parapsychology on their new EP, Clark who goes dancefloor with his upcoming Fantasm Planes, and Motion Sickness Of Time Travel's limited edition cassette.

Matmos

October 18th, 2012 Update: 3-D forms hover and float like spacecrafts in this music video by l-inc design. The group, fascinated by Matmos' approach to their record (detailed below) "worked on the video without consulting the band, counting on psychic cues to guide them."
Matmos' upcoming EP, The Ganzfeld, coming out on Thrill Jockey Records on October 16th (with a full-length, The Marriage Of True Minds, to follow). Part fantasy war march cinematics and part muted monk chants, this initial track, an edit of "Very Large Green Triangles", could be adequate music for a Mars Rover Landing or a post-Bubonic Plague Christmas. The sonics themselves are convincing and fascinating, but the twenty-year collaboration between Matmos' M.C. Schmidt and Drew Daniel contains fascinating conceptual underpinnings as well, as both are centered around telepathy. For the past four years, the duo has been exploring parapsychological experiments based upon ganzfeld experiments (detailed below).
Original track and Schwarz remix of "Very Large Green Triangles" to follow. Pre-Order Matmos - The Ganzfeld EP