With 2,175 posts in 16 months, you're bound to miss something. We've gone ahead and gathered some of our favorite tracks from now and yesteryear that didn't get much play, but deserved it.
Hubble: “Nude Ghost”
Ital: “Only For Tonight (Dubout/Saviour’s Love Megamix)”
The Rebel: “Prove It”
Today we are treated to the collaborative fruits of recently profiled artist Hubble and the telescope itself. Ben Greenberg, aka Hubble, crafted the ambient drone and mesmerizing fret taps of Hubble Drums' cut "Hubble's Hubble" to soundtrack the cosmic imagery captured by The Hubble Space Telescope in the video above. This science-meets-art pairing is all the result of two dudes listening to tunes over a Thanksgiving dinner. In an interview with NPR's Lars Gotrich, Ben Greenberg, aka Hubble, explains:
The collaboration was the brainchild of two great men over a great meal, and naturally I wasn't either of them. Michael Azerrad wrote the book Our Band Could Be Your Life (and, more important to my early musical development, Come As You Are: The Story Of Nirvana) and Max Mutchler works at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI for short, he also discovered Pluto's second and third moons — so cool!). Michael showed Max my music over last year's Thanksgiving dinner, and a short while later I received an email from Max proposing that we work together. Max set me up with Tiffany Borders over at STScI, and I brought in Sheena Callage to help put the whole thing together. As obvious as this may seem in retrospect, there's no way I could have come up with it on my own.
Greenberg clarifies that what we are looking at in this video is the M81 galaxy:
Its spiral arms wind all the way down into the nucleus and are made up of young, bluish, hot stars formed in the past few million years, while the central bulge contains older, redder stars. Zooming directly into this red center, we wind up in the midst of the glowing gas ejected by a dying Sun-like star called a planetary nebula. We continue to explore other planetary nebula forms with amazing and confounding shapes. They dance for us, and morph into one another, entrancing and beautiful, inviting reflection on our place in the Universe, tenuous as it is. At the musical, physical, and emotional climax, we confront a light echo, the expanding illumination of a dusty cloud around a star, pulsating along with the music, echoing the grand celestial end, but also foreshadowing an inevitable and shattering re-birth.
[Ben Greenberg performing at the Berkeley Art Museum of UC Berkeley - photo by Betty Nguyen]
By Matt Sullivan
One of the things that stuck out most to me when I first read Michael Azzerad's Our Band Could Be Your Life was how many of the artists, despite being historically lumped together in some way, actually seemed at odds with one other. I don't mean an adversarial position between the artists themselves-- just wildly different takes on artistry, even audiences. Azzerad had gathered the hip, the hardcore, and the hellbent alike into a single, multi-faceted scene.
Ben Greenberg, the very talented guitarist from Zs and Pygmy Shrews, has accomplished a similar feat of musical desegregation with his solo project Hubble. As a New School alumnus and thoroughly trained player in everything from jazz to G3-ready shredding, he is familiar with all the guitar culture stereotypes. Some play from the heart, but can't even read music; some play from the head, but can't even feel purpose; some play 64th notes, but can't even hold a whole note. And all of them think the others are stupid.
When I sat down with Greenberg at Life Cafe in Bushwick a little while back to talk about his upcoming debut full-length for Northern Spy, Hubble Drums, it became clear that he saw the project as being intentionally and blissfully ignorant of those preconceptions, employing every tool at his disposal to create something smart, accessible, and unique.
In a recent interview with WNYU's DJ Dona, Ben Greenberg revealed that a track from his recent debut full-length as Hubble, Hubble Drums, was created for a video made by NASA. Spurred on by music critic Michael Azzerad, Greenberg met with folks at the NASA-affiliated Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore and offered to soundtrack imagery from the Hubble Space Telescope. The result was the appropriately titled, "Hubble's Hubble," of which Greenberg had some interesting things to say: "The video is a story… a trope on the death of climates and stars. Hubble as a musical project is a meditation on my place in the world as a musician, my place in the universe and [...] it really makes you think about how much there is out there, and how little of it we really get to see." --Matt Sullivan, Altered Zones
The "Hubble's Hubble" music video will drop November 18th, and you can scoop Hubble Drums now from Northern Spy
Zs and Pygmy Shrews guitarist Ben Greenberg has broken free from the tethers of his bands to anxiously float above our atmosphere with his solo project as Hubble. Greenberg's brand of ambient, sci-fi psychedelia-- dubbed "cyber-dread"-- creatively stretches the limits of conventional guitar technique, tone, and composition in a way that showcases the instrument's formidable capability to fly solo. However, this is far from some etude, and a simple beauty results from subdued sophistication. Available for stream from his upcoming album, Hubble Drums, is "Nude Ghost," where Hubble deliberately shifts an echoing tapping motif in and out of phase with itself and a lethargic, crawling beat. --Matt Sullivan, Altered Zones
Hubble: "Nude Ghost"
Hubble Drums is due to release on November 8th and is available for pre-order now on Northern Spy Records; catch him October 2nd, over at Zebulon Cafe, for Spy Music Festival
Under new solo alias Hubble, Ben Greenberg of Zs and Pygmy Shrews has been channeling his formidable guitar chops into distortion-drenched, loop-based compositions that lovers of distressed ambience will be more than happy to zone out to. He just released his first cycle of material on Burlington's VT's NNA Tapes-- also home to Driphouse, Julia Holter, Oneohtrix Point Never, and Caboladies, among other AZ faves -- and we're having a hard time believing that there is not a single synthesizer on Hubble Linger-- or strings, or timpani. Check out an extended excerpt from the cassette below (selected by the Greenberg himself), along with some words from the artist on why we probably shouldn't listen to his music on headphones.
"Every Hubble set, on a stage or in a friend's basement or in my bedroom, is a concerted effort on my part to change the air in the room, to push it towards a state of greater resonance. This is why Hubble recordings are really meant to be played out loud, over speakers, which was a difficult decision for me to make as I'm definitely a lifelong headphone addict. With Hubble Linger, I wanted to create a version of Hubble that could be a slow burn, like a Townes Van Zandt song or an Ornette Coleman ballad-- something that creeps into your brain and just hangs out in there, lightly throbbing as you go about your day, but then every once in a while the throbbing skips a beat, or speeds up a little bit, and all of a sudden your entire perspective, your entire sensory experience, is different forever. At least until the music ends." --Emile Friedlander, Visitation Rites
A bunch of weeks ago I stumbled upon Hubble playing a set at Zebulon. At the time I didn't know what it was called, but I knew it was Ben Greenberg from Zs and Pygmy Shrews playing solo and absolutely shredding. Fast forward to the other day and Kenny from Byrds of Paradise GChats me the Hubble blogspot complete with that live set I happened upon and a live video of him shredding in the same manner on a roof (shot by Teresa Eggers). From there, I also found Hubble's soundcloud page which beefs up the single guitar spazzes with equally spastic drums on "Hubble Dust". Plus, the genre is tagged as "Cyber-dread" and that's rad. (via Friendship Bracelet)