That phosphorescent groove bubbling below "Multiply" comes from Sun Araw's Cameron Stallones and Los Angeles bretheren M. Geddes Gengras, collectively known as deep-roots dancehall curators Duppy Gun Productions. The pair traversed Jamaica during their tropical collaboration with The Congos, and found time to record with a number of local singers and artists. "Multiply" comes from Dayone, a singer and fisherman from the Forum village outside Portmore, Jamaica. Video credits come from Astral Project's Lily X. Wahrman and Tony Lowe, who manage deep psychedelia through mundanity rather than the imaginary sublime, and seem bent here on disorienting viewers and playing with their technology-conditioned expectations: FULL SCREEN IS A MUST. --Dale W. Eisinger, Altered Zones
"Multiply" is B/W on a 12" with "Earth," by Early One. It'll be available November 29, here
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.
Fall's arrival has left me reminiscing about 2011's best music, and the ghostly R&B echoes of Holy Other's zoned in EP, With U, come quickly to my mind. In this YouTube video of his live performance at this year's Rewire Festival in Den Haag, standout track "Touch" is accompanied by light work that highlights the staccato clips of percussion with bright, sudden strobes. The economic set-up allows for the negative spaces to pop out between his mayor-of-the-graveyard podium presence and the subtle shades of blue on the screen behind it, letting the darkness take the driver's seat. --Matt Sullivan, Altered Zones
Former Yellow Swans member Pete Swanson harnesses crystalline polyrhythms toward militant ends in "Misery Beat," a brash house music monster from his new Type Records LP, Man With Potential. The abusive four-on-the-floor sneaks in under the ripple of radar blips, framing synth peels that sound much more euphoric than pained. In the Megazord-cut clip above, laser beams and strobes set the groundwork for dancefloor madness. Only when the smoke clears from the test pattern is it clear that "Misery Beat" offers stern warnings on the hypnosis of sound and light. The NYPD would be wise to blast this on LRAD. -- Dale W. Eisinger, Altered Zones
Man With Potential is out now on Type Records
In the undulating analog clip for "Red Song," the face of Suuns' Ben Shemie gets flexed by fingers and torqued in tracking. It could almost function as a surreal hostage tape for the self, if we could decipher any of Shemie's soft-sung demands. "Red Song" makes a paranoid progression that jives with the steady panoptic gaze here, Shemie turning even his insides out for all to see. He explains the process and in-cutting:
The video was shot on an old VHS recorder that we picked up on tour somewhere in the southern United States for 4 bucks, which gives it that old video look. We also grabbed a handful of old home videos and some other tapes; some self-help stuff, excercise tapes, some religious videos, and a Dragonball-Z animation. Just randomly threw the tapes in and started recording clips. Mostly it came out fuzzy or obscured. We didn't really try and select cool parts, just whatever turned up on the screen. The Dragonball-Z parts just seemed to fit well: pretty intense action scenes that are bleached out from sitting on a shelf for however many years. There appears to be a kind of resurrection scene in those clips that compliments the relatively static nature of the video. --Dale W. Eisinger, Altered Zones
"Red Song" takes the b-side for the new Sunns 12" Bambi, out now on Secretly Canadian
Dark Brooklyn duo Light Asylum graced the downstairs stage of Altered Zones' CMJ showcase alongside Atlas Sound, Eric Copeland, and Captured Tracks up-and-comers Dive for a set not to forget. Peep their live rendition of "End of Days," which might just end up on their forthcoming full-length on Mexican Summer next year. --Ric Leichtung, Altered Zones
Denver's very own gothstar, Pictureplane, made this video for "Black Nails," taken from his sophomore LP for Lovepump United that was released earlier this year. Pictureplane gathered some film footage while hanging out in the Russia Federation's heavy industrial landscape-- which "smelled of poison" and felt "apocalyptic" to him-- and spliced it with animation by Rhinoceropolis founding member, Milton Melvin Croissant. The shots that appear in the little box throughout were actually taken by Egedy using his pocket dgital camera, showcasing cathedrals, da Vinci paintings, and crowd footage of a show with '90s thrash metal gods Master. Egedy says the footage aimed to "capture the amazing spirit of Russian culture and to portray the classic 'Russian soul' that my Russian friends say is becoming lost." --Ric Leichtung, Altered Zones
About a month ago, we hosted our sold out CMJ showcase with araabMUZIK, Trash Talk, Grimes, Eric Copeland, among others at the New Museum. Pitchfork TV was there on the scene filming some of our favorite artists, and caught this live rendition of Teengirl Fantasy's "Dancing in Slow Motion." Stay tuned for more videos from Light Asylum, Trash Talk, and more. --Ric Leichtung, Altered Zones
Today, Blondes celebrate the final installment of their 2011 12" trilogy for RVNG Intl. with a homemade video of the latest's A-side, "Wine." The two non-blondes compiled footage of gloving-- a rave craze where people cover their fingertips in black light paint and move them to the music. And while the eight-minute video has loads of funny characters-- give yourself a pat on the back if you recognized fourth place International Gloving Championship winner Ice Kream Teddy-- you can't help but find common ground with the Deadmau5 t-shirt-wearin', rabbit mask-sportin' teens whose minds are totally blown by gloving's undeniably mesmerizing beauty. --Ric Leichtung, Altered Zones
Wine/Water 12" is out today on RVNG Intl.
New York-based synthesist Jesse Reiner, the founding third of Jonas Reinhardt, just sent in this Isabel Salvado-directed video for The Primer Revealer, a 12" follow-up to this year's excellent Music For The Tactile Dome LP on Not Not Fun. This latest offering was recorded at none other than Abbey Road, in London, and has the particularity of requiring playback at 45 speed on Side A, and 33 on the flip. The extra real estate on Side A goes to a special hand-etched design that you'll won't be able to behold until you hold the vinyl in your two hands; here's to hoping that it's every bit as psychedelic as the visuals for b-side "Only Pharoahs," which draws mysterious and cinematic parallels between ancient egypt, space travel, and rolling expanses of water and vegetation. --Emilie Friedlander, Altered Zones
In Eric Lumbleau's recent piece for The Wire's Collateral Damage column, the Mutant Sounds writer weighs in on the effects of file sharing on the underground music timeline. Forgetten outsider gems are gaining exposure to a new and surprisingly willing audience via torrents or mp3 blogs like Lumbleau's own, allowing everyone to be their own curator, to write alternative musical histories based on what resonates with them in the now
Though Dallas' Vas Deferens Organization, Lumbleau's band, have a varied and prolific output, it's safe to assume that their own musical timeline would give due props to veteran freaks like Captain Beefheart, The Residents, or Throbbing Gristle. In "Defenestration at the Gravity Pit," the opening track from their latest Eye Peels And Brain Picks LP, this goofball approach to psychedelia manifests itself as a collagist, peyote-fueled soundtrack for your ritualistic mating dance. --Matt Sullivan, Altered Zones
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
London-based French expatriates Le Pécheur recently announced a European tour to coincide with the release of their debut LP on drummer Xavier Terracol's Azbin Records. Medieval Dreams houses material from 2010, including unreleased tracks and cuts from their self-produced, digital release, Demon1.
On "Don’t Burn The Witch" vocalist/guiatrist Pier forewarns the wrath of a scornful woman. The doomsday feeling is enhanced by conga-driven percussion, Spanish-influenced guitar, and French-accented vocals in the style of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. With “Holy Mountain,” a video for which you can peep below, crawling percussion sets the stage for distortion-heavy guitars to lead a path through an expanse of spectral synth. --Mark Craig, Altered Zones
Melbourne indie classicists Dick Diver have that casual swag that makes what they do sound so easy. That ease and affect translates well visually, too. Between the George Lucas circle fades and behind-the-scenes shots of a bakery, it's easy to mistake the band's ad hoc performance as purely fun and games-- even if it's tongue and cheek. That shrug-of-the-shoulder, almost blasé bent goes as far as the lyric: "I've seen that guy around/I see him all the time/I always thought he was your friend/you always thought he was mine." --Dale W. Eisinger, Altered Zones
In celebration of their upcoming European tour, Pure X got together with fellow Austinite Malcolm Elijah-- also half of Silent Diane-- and made an especially spooky video for Pleasure highlight, "Surface." Elijah gave us this explaination of the chilling work:
The party was steeped in decadence and the macabre, it was a human menagerie steeped in perverse and intoxicated desires. As guests arrived one by one in sheer like fashion the air grew heavy with the grand anticipation of what awaited them. Within the interim of twilight they were all dead, all carried away by the same whim that brought them there. --Ric Leichtung, Altered Zones