Dope Body: Lifer


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From the press release:
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“Baltimore quartet Dope Body return with their second album for Drag City, Lifer, refining the aural yawp they have been perfecting for some time, wild windmills honing into surgical strikes, the band’s gut-busting repulsion-sound continuing to expand without losing any of the feral energy that the group have become renowned for. There is a distinct evolution from one Dope Body record to another, and Lifer is no different. “Repo Man” showcases the progression of the band’s songwriting, a creeper, crooning with an oscillating bass groove before whipping into a frenzied stomp. “Day By Day” has a propulsive sound, demonstrating the band’s frenetic spirit and “Hired Gun” is pure sonic pyrotechnics with a forward-evolving, dynamic range of loud/soft/loud and a big singalong chorus. Where most songs showcase singer Andrew Laumann’s rhythmic ability, “Rare Air” is one of the first Dope Body tracks that exhibits his talent for constructing melody. Although it is tempting to imagine the members of Dope Body emerging from some rock and roll cave to terrorize yet again with a new wave of Sabbath-refracted mayhem, when these musicians and fine artists get together the storm brews, songs are rocked and written and we’re propelled into another sweaty go-round. This is actually a controlled demolition, planned but with room to take down additional structures.”
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Lifer is out now on Drag City; check out “Hired Gun” below.
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Objekt: Flatland


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From the label:
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“Written between 2012 and 2014, Objekt‘s debut album Flatland follows up a succession of dynamic single releases from his base in Berlin. His recorded work so far has toyed with techno and electro conventions and has turned dancefloor tropes on their head, tickling the boundaries of what can or can’t constitute an effective club record. Approaching the album format on its own terms, TJ Hertz makes full use of the larger canvas to explore a framework of competing truths, multiple perspectives and conflicting accounts. Flatland imagines a world in which any scene can be seen from every angle at once; semblances and cross-references entwine the eleven original tracks and Objekt’s existing recordings, shaping a powerful and absorbing album that weaves between the alien and the hauntingly familiar. This is an effervescent body of work, its sound design evoking vivid imagery and conveying the same unmistakeable sense of detail and movement for which Hertz has become known. On his first attempt, Objekt has constructed a mature and multilayered album with its own story to tell, from whichever angle you choose to approach it.”
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Flatland is out now on PAN; listen to “Second Witness” below.
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Peter Broderick: Colours Of The Night # Satellite


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From the label:
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(Colours Of The Night) Satellite is Peter Broderick’s first song-based release in two years, during which the singer-songwriter-composer-multi-instrumentalist and serial collaborator was struck down by a debilitating illness that forced him to re-evaluate his life. It meant a scaled-back workload and moving from his Berlin home back to his home state of Oregon. Thankfully, after a period of rehabilitation, he’s now back on track. “One of the record’s main themes is how bad stuff can have a rejuvenating effect,” says Broderick. The 5-track EP opens with ‘Colours Of The Night (Satellite Version)’, a sparkling, Afro-pop-tinged beauty that embodies the concept. “Night time is so monochromatic, but actually there are all these different shades of grey. I’ve often explored melancholic moods before, but this time I wanted a balance of darkness and light. I wouldn’t feel so happy now without the struggle.” A rejuvenated Broderick began recording again. Back in Berlin, an alternate, dub-enhanced and expanded version of ‘Colours of The Night’ was created by best friend and collaborator Greg Haines. He also helped record the EP’s closing track ‘More And More (Mouth Trumpet Version)’, with its beautiful and uncanny brass coda sung by what Broderick calls his, “fake trumpet voice.” Despite its European origins, Broderick says (Colours Of The Night’) Satellite was inspired by, “getting back in touch with my American-ness,” after seven years living abroad. He name-checks Neil Young, Chet Baker and Arthur Russell as particular influences, which is America as it should be, a mix of folk, jazz, rock and rhythm that perfectly reflects Broderick’s new music, which sounds like the cleanest bill of health that anyone could possibly hope for.”
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(Colours Of The Night) Satellite is out now via Bella Union; check out the title track below.
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Oozing Wound: Earth Suck

Modernity is a bummer, and humanity’s drive towards its own destruction is at a fever pitch. Oozing Wound finds humor in our ridiculous habits and, by magnifying our most destructive behavior to its extreme end, allows us to laugh at the idiocy and the horror of it all. This mindset is at the center of their second full-length Earth Suck, a collection of destructive thrash that is seemingly teetering at the edge of control and collapse. Zack Weil’s guitar is reckless, his palm-muted chugs coming at breakneck speed and pinch harmonics squealing like sonic bolts of electricity; Kyle Reynolds’ drumming is unrelenting, wild and unrestrained but executed with a level of jaw dropping precision; Kevin Cribbin’s manic, mammoth bass delivers wallop after wallop of fuzzed out low-end. Oozing Wound revels in the absurdity of horrifying realities, playing up fear and desperation to reveal the underlying humor. On Earth Suck they offer increasingly extreme portraits of moral and societal decay seen through the eyes of those doing the perpetrating. On “Genuine Creeper” Weil embodies a fetus eating its twin: “Kill your neighbor or kill yourself – I creep tonight”; on “Hippie Speedball” he becomes an addict who can’t go to work without getting high: “I can’t wake up without my hippie speedball.” Oozing Wound’s energetic and expansive variation on thrash thrives on antagonistic repetition and addictive riffage, avoiding pretense like a plague.
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Earth Suck is out now on Thrill Jockey; check out “Going Through The Motions Til I Die” below.
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Scott Walker + Sunn O: Soused


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From Boomkat:
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“…And the earth crack’d to reveal Scott Walker & Sunn 0)))‘s colossal offspring Soused in its riveting, tragic glory. Four years on from their proposed collaboration on the latter’s Monoliths & Dimensions, arch avant-crooner Walker meets the robed duo of Greg Anderson and Stephen O’Malley (and their live cohort Tos Nieuwenhuizen) at the apex of their powers, presenting a peerless, operatic vision of doom metal informed as much by Native American history and underground US psych as experimental jazz and electronic dynamics. Soused offers a complex, widescreen portal to a chiaroscuro world slashed in black by Anderson and O’Malley and illuminated by Walker’s range of possessed vocal personas, from anguished despair to internal torment and shocking convulsions. Embarking over the bull-whipped Moog bass momentum and banking riffs of ‘Brando’, Walker is a disturbing yet utterly compelling presence enticing us to cross thresholds into the arcane, uncanny worlds animated by Sunn 0))), whether projecting across the molasses drone trudge of ‘Bull’ or alternately wilting and lashing out from the percussive attacks and abyssal tar pits of ‘Herod 2014′. By fourth song ‘Fetish’ their path has narrowed to a nightmarish corridor of re-amped synth ghouls and spectral noise before distant drums abort the pregnant drones somewhere in the final third, for closing shot ‘Lullaby’ to emulsify their unheimlich resolution at its most dramatic, synth-fired and intimate. It’s a genuinely remarkable session, surely one of 2014’s best.”
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Soused is out now via 4AD
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Absolutely Free


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From the press release:
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“Toronto’s Absolutely Free emerged from the ashes of cult art-punk band DD/MM/YYYY when Matt King (drums/vocals), Moshe Rozenberg (synths/drums) and Mike Claxton (synths/bass) set out to create more hypnotic and patient music than their previous work. For their debut album, the band entered the studio with producer Mike Haliechuk (Fucked Up); the end result of these sessions was Absolutely Free, a proper introduction to the band that showcases the band’s ability to hone a diverse spectrum of influences, while maintaining a unified narrative. The album opens with “Window of Time,” a track that builds from a low drone that’s slowly subsumed by cyclic organs, found sounds, and the band members’ own plaintive chanting; the ecstatic opener segues seamlessly into “Beneath the Air,” a driving, summery build and the band’s leanest song to date. Tracks like “Vision’s” and “Earth II” fuse the elegant psychedelica of Phil Spector with a patient krautrock motorik. The album closes with “Spiral Jetty,” an expansive track that’s built around mountainous rolling drums and sun-kissed synths and clocks in at an impressive 8:06.”
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Absolutely Free is out now via Lefse Records; listen to “Beneath The Air” below.
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Kindness: Otherness


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From NPR:
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“Adam Bainbridge doubles down on the ’80s sound of his debut for sophomore album Otherness. “New feelings we begin again / Old endings we begin anew,” he sings in “World Restart,” which from its compressed drum machine to its honking saxophone sounds like a lost track from 30 years ago. Midway through, he’s joined by fast-rising R&B singer Kelela, who sounds like one of the Mary Jane Girls circa 1983’s “All Night Long.” But the feelings behind the song revive those staid sounds and make them sound refreshed. From there, Kindness pulls from various earmarks of that era, be it the go-go bells that power “This Is Not About Us” or the elegant piano that flows through “I’ll Be Back.” Rapper M.anifest joins in for “8th Wonder,” name-checking Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” in his verse. And when Kelela returns in “With You,” the track at one point peels back to a synthesized breath, a brief homage to Art Of Noise’s classic single, “Moments In Love.” Much like his musical compatriot  Devonté Hynes did on Blood Orange’s sublime Cupid Deluxe, Bainbridge draws on assists from friends. Beyond the album highlights with Kelela, the sputtering backbeat, rubbery slap-bass line and church organ of “Who Do You Love?” gets a big lift from Swedish singer Robyn, who infuses the song with her pop effervescence. Hynes himself lends a hand in “Why Don’t You Love Me,” which evolves from a heartbreaking ballad to sensuous R&B to great effect. It hints that Kindness might change and advance yet again.”
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Otherness is out now via Female Energy; check out “World Restart” below.
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Museum Of Love


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Let’s take a moment to consider the lot of the perennially overlooked disco drummer: the Earl Youngs and Keith Forseys and Tony Thompsons of the world, men often mistaken for machines whose heartbeat rhythm defined the sound of a generation; the driving force behind tracks still heard and loved by millions in clubs the world over every weekend, but musical legends most people couldn’t tell by sight from Adam. These guys’ closest contemporary counterpart, Pat Mahoney, is somewhat more recognisable, especially to those lucky enough to have caught him playing live with LCD Soundsystem: who could forget, after all, the sight of this bearded beanpole in his tiny flesh-coloured short shorts, showering his kit in sweat, all four limbs pumping manically like production line workers trying to hit their bonus target before clocking off time? In the three years since LCD’s big farewell, Mahoney has been busy adding more strings to his bow and now, with the release of Museum Of Love, he has proven himself to be just as competent at the front of the stage as at the back. The eponymous debut from the duo of Mahoney and Dennis McNany (AKA Jee Day) features the drummer on synthesizers and lead vocals (as well as percussion, naturally), and whilst the rhythms are on the whole decidedly less frantic than the beat-heavy blow-outs his previous band were famous for, he certainly makes his presence felt with a surprisingly rich croon that lands somewhere between recent David Byrne and heartthrob-era Scott Walker. That voice dominates much of Museum Of Love, snaking around the twisted acid bass-line of first single “Down South”, booming like the bombshell chords that litter the lovely, Eno-esque “Fathers” and adding just the right balance of weight and wit to sassy, soulful closer “And All The Winners (Fuck You Buddy)”, but it’s McNany – who handled the lion’s share of song-writing and production duties – that really deserves the pat on the back. If the shuffling grooves and ping-ponging bass-lines of the more club-friendly “In Infancy” and “The Who’s Who Of Who Cares” (below) seem like pretty standard DFA fare (that is to say, of the same high quality as his previous singles for the label), elsewhere McNany manages the tricky task of pulling a tick-list of James Murphy-approved influences together into a coherent whole with a crate-digger’s diligence and the dexterity of a big room DJ: Depeche Mode-esque electro pop on “Learned Helplessness In Rats (Disco Drummer)”, slowly percolating Komische throb on “Monotronic“, twitching psychedelic Kraut-funk on “The Large Glass”. With both members so in tune with the DFA ethos – and with each other – it’s clear Mahoney’s beat connection isn’t the only thing Museum Of Love and LCD Soundsystem have in common; on the basis of this great debut it seems the latter’s legacy is in safe hands.
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Museum of Love is out now via DFA Records
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Last Ex

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From the label:
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Last Ex is the new instrumental rock ensemble led by Simon Trottier and Olivier Fairfield, both longtime fixtures of experimental/ punk scenes rooted in the cross-province hub of Hull/Ottawa (straddling the border of Quebec and Ontario, respectively). The pair are perhaps best known as core members of haunted blues-folk ensemble Timber Timbre, and when that group’s ambient music for a horror film went unused back in 2012, Trottier and Fairfield began revisiting the sound palette they had built up for the soundtrack at the latter’s studio in Hull, expanding on their techniques and textures, adding drums, bass and various other instruments. The duo found that they had uncovered some very fertile territory, writing additional songs throughout 2013 and bringing their obsessions with sound collage, tape-based music concrète and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop to bear on the cinematic lyricism of the initial widescreen guitar- and string-based material. Derived from the title of the abandoned film, Simon and Olivier dubbed their new project Last Ex. With its combination of assured lyricism, cinematic guitars, dusky analog atmospherics and taut percussion, this is a vivid, concise and expressive instrumental album that sits snugly between fellow label acts Do Make Say Think and Exhaust on the one hand, Hrsta, Tindersticks and Evangelista on the other.”
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Last Ex is out now on Constellation Records; check out “Girl Seizure” below.
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Jessie Ware: Tough Love

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From the bio:
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“When she first started singing Jessie Ware side-stepped the glare of the spotlight, initially performing as a featured artist on club tracks by SBTRKT and Joker, preferring alliance over eminence. But that all changed in 2012 with the release of her debut album Devotion, one of the most critically acclaimed albums of the year, lauded by everyone from Pitchfork to Heat Magazine and nominated for the Mercury Prize; new fans included the biggest stars in the world, with everyone from Katy Perry to Taylor Swift piling on the praise. The mania of Jessie’s schedule led to Tough Love’s creation. The record’s executive producers are BenZell (a new production duo made up of PMR labelmate Two Inch Punch and Katy Perry and Ke$ha super-producer Benny Blanco) and you can hear the leaps in production and songwriting that come with experience and an expanded team. While the record still draws on the suave, svelte palette of synths and bass heard on Devotion, they’re combined with more confident choruses and lush arrangements. Jessie’s stunning vocal is brought to the fore – it often feels she’s whispering right in your ear. She’s got a lot to be proud of on this record, but more than a musical evolution, this also marks the beginning of Jessie Ware; not the backing singer or the club-track vocalist or the girl done good, but the star. “I can’t keep going round going ‘oh my god, this is happening,’” she says. “I feel more confident and I think that shows on the record, even the way I deliver the vocals is more upfront. Being a singer is a fucking wicked job, but it’s definitely my job now.””
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Tough Love is out now on PMR Records/Island; check out the title track and “Say You Love Me” below.
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