Future Brown


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From NPR:
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Future Brown is a post-human, post-geographical electronic music collective that is both decidedly human and highly geographical. The four main members hail from far afield (Los Angeles, New York, Kuwait) but live most fully in the drifting state that artists can inhabit when they work the global circuit right. Fatima Al Qadiri is the best-known, with releases on the U.K. labels Fade To Mind and Hyperdub and extra-musical membership in the GCC, a conceptual art project that addresses hyper-real life in the Persian Gulf. Alongside her are Daniel Pineda and Asma Maroof of the club-minded duo Nguzunguzu and J-Cush (of the New York label Lit City Trax). The particulars of the roster, however, are less important than the overall sense that these musicians have a lot going on in many different spheres. Rappers abound, as well, to fantastic effect. As is the custom in the genre of grime and what gets wrangled together under the catchall term “bass music,” mic duties are handed over to a rotating cast and crew, with rhymes flying over beats that strive to sound cohesive and unique. “Room 302” opens with sass and force courtesy of Tink, who invites an otherwise happily attached paramour to stray and avail himself of her many charms (“I know you wanna hit that,” she raps, before continuing, “I’m trying to seduce you, I’ve got a couple hundred ways I can use you“). “Talkin Bandz” follows on a weightier and more concussive note with a heavily AutoTuned DJ Victoriouz slurring alongside fellow Chicagoan Shawnna. Swerving severely again, “Big Homie” pits posse vocals by Sicko Mobb against a dainty sort of digital calypso, complete with a simulacrum of a steel drum. The rapping taps into a wide variety of techniques and moods, but the production underneath does at least as much work. The guiding principles are a devotion to spacious, fractious beats and allusions to worldly sounds re-imagined for a borderless state of mind. Most common is a kind of all-over worldliness employed by Fatima Al Qadiri on her 2014 album Asiatisch, which plays with notions of Eastern melodies delivered by synthesized strings. But other examples proliferate, from the reggaeton lilt of “Vernaculo” to the Miami-bass-grade boom of “Killing Time.” Track by track, with different rappers enlisted, it makes for multiplicity, kind of like a mixtape. As a whole, it’s future music for a world faithful to a sense of place, but eager to explore new orbits.”
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Future Brown is out now on Warp Records; check out “Room 302” (ft. Tink) below.
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Dutch Uncles: O Shudder


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From the press release:
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“Six years into Dutch Uncles’ flourishing career, the idiosyncratic art-popologists return with a new album that sees them further distilling and refining their signature sound, marrying rock bombast with classical arrangements, acoustic instrumentation with smart synthetic pop. O Shudder is their most direct record to date, the sound of a wildly witty band well and truly finding their stride, whilst lyrically tackling the growing pains of being twentysomething in a generic Northern suburbia; according to front man Duncan Wallis, the album covers themes including “pregnancy, social media, terrorism, divorce, sexual dysfunction, job seeking, health scares, doubt, love”. The album was recorded with long term collaborator Brendan Williams in three locations; at a studio in the heart of the Welsh valleys, above a Salford pub and, for the acoustic instruments, in the natural reverb of Salford’s Peel Hall. The band were meticulous in tweaking their synth sounds so they’d fit seamlessly with the harp, xylophone, marimba, string and woodwind sounds that populate the record. Sources of inspiration for the record included The Blue Nile, Kate Bush’s third album Never For Ever, Igor Stravinsky, Japan and lyrically John Cooper Clarke, Sparks, Ian Dury and Prefab Sprouts’ album From Langley Park to Memphis. O Shudder’s narrative involves a twentysomething everyman, a version of Wallis perhaps, agonising over awkward questions and situations arising from his past and future. “Babymaking” kicks things off with the protagonist evaluating his suitability for parenthood. “Upsilon” tackles the his interaction with and insecurities relating to social media, including reminiscences of quitting MySpace as a teenager. “Decided Knowledge” tells of the impact on the mind of the protagonist after a failed job interview process, whilst “In n Out” sketches a grammatically poor approach to breaking down the friend zone. The album culminates in “Tidal Weight” in which the protagonist’s social paranoia and internal angst reach such a level that, during a self administered health check, he imagines his body to have dematerialised. Wallis explains that “it felt like a suitable narrative, as we ourselves approach our thirties where a lot of people are expected to feel sure about who they are and where they are going and just don’t”. All set to shudder and stun, and induce plenty of hip swivelling, Dutch Uncles have delivered on their youthful potential and solved their own particular Rubik’s cube, bringing their unclassifiable pop music into clear and precise focus.”
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O Shudder is out now via Memphis Industries; listen to “Decided Knowledge” below.
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TheeSatisfaction: EarthEE


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From NPR:
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“EarthEE, like THEESatisfaction‘s 2012 debut awE naturalE, is immersive almost to the point of hypnosis. Blending electronica, R&B, neo-soul, avant-garde hip-hop, and an expansive Afro-futuristic philosophy, Cat Harris-White and Stas Irons have constructed a cosmology of political consciousness, poetic lyricism and viscous, funky instrumentation that sticks like cooling caramel. In a manner more befitting speculative fiction than pop radio, the Seattle duo  have always concerned themselves with galaxy-building — their albums, videos and performances don’t arrive in this world so much as reveal theirs. This is partly thanks to the unusually intimate way Irons’ and Harris-White’s vocals interact, as they echo, bolster and respond to each other with urgency and empathy inherent to the spoken-word scene in which they first met. More than half the tracks here are collaborations with Shabazz Palaces, Meshell Ndegeocello, Taylor Brown and/or Erik Blood, as well, furthering the impression of the pair as ascending the throne of futuristic, innovative groove-royalty. In both register and tone, EarthEE is much lower than the comparably playful awE naturalE. Harris-White and Irons dial back the animation in their deliveries, and make up for it by upping this album’s lyrical ante. “Planet For Sale,” “Post Black Anyway,” “Recognition” and “Fetch/Catch” are intense, percussive portraits juxtaposing a bleak, apathetic present with visions of an enlightened future. This, above all, is what defines THEESatisfaction: a knockout punch of consciousness-raising embedded in a deceptively easygoing beat. In theory, EarthEE is a cosmic, funky dance party. In practice, it’s a revolution.”
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EarthEE is out now on Sub Pop; listen to the title track below.
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Torche: Restarter


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From Stereogum:
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“The Florida band Torche have found a home in the metal underground, but “metal,” at least in its current definition, isn’t really an adequate term to describe what they do. Instead, Torche stack huge choruses on top of huge riffs, working up a mountainous sound that’s absolutely overwhelming if you listen to it loud enough. It keeps you in that deep-immersion head-nod mode, the way the best stoner-metal can do, but it also has these huge triumphant melodies that can make you feel like you’re flying. They absolutely rule, and their new album Restarter, the follow-up to 2012’s Harmonicraft is a worthy addition to a hell of a legacy.”
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Restarter is out now on Relapse Records; listen to “Minions” below.
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Badbadnotgood and Ghostface Killah: Sour Soul

BADBADNOTGOOD & GHOSTFACE KILLA - Sour Soul
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From the press release:
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Sour Soul is a full-length collaborative album from Toronto jazz/hip-hop band BADBADNOTGOOD and Staten Island rap champ Ghostface Killah. Inspired by 1960s and 70s soul music – taking inspiration from the recording techniques and production of that era, and eschewing sampling in favour of live instrumentation – BBNG with producer Frank Dukes have created a dramatic, cinematic musical staging for Ghostface’s vivid storytelling. The album also features guest spots from MF DOOM, Elzhi (Slum Village / J Dilla), Danny Brown and prodigal new rapper Tree (Project mayhem).”
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Sour Soul is out February 24 on Lex Records; check out “Ray Gun” (feat. DOOM) and “Six Degrees” (feat. Danny Brown) below.
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Krill: A Distant Fist Unclenching


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From Consequence Of Sound:
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“Boston rockers Krill may only be on their third album, but they have an ever-expanding cult following that trails them with unflinching devotion. For them, Krill’s music is modern medicine. Following the semi-concept EP Steve Hears Pile in Malden and Bursts into Tears, the band that loves poop jokes is moving on to embrace life’s uncertainties on A Distant Fist Unclenching. They’re serving another round of questions on existentialism and anxiety, but this time Krill aren’t expecting answers. They’ve learned to let go of whatever trivial consolation those hold. With a comical shrug, the trio explore self-love, self-hate, and the ambiguous meaning of self-worth through a lens of rejection. A Distant Fist Unclenching uses rock as a vehicle for storytelling, and more often than not it grapples with mental illness. On “Brain Problem”, jittery tempos whip dramatic guitar lines in circles, rocketing forward with the band’s trademark fury thanks to Ian Becker’s drumming. “God grant me strength to know what is a brain problem and what is just me,” sings bassist Jonah Furman, later adding, “And I know just ’cause it’s not getting better now doesn’t mean it won’t.” He sings with a carelessness that becomes inherently sad, the tone of someone so burnt out from over-thinking that any and all conclusions ring futile. As closer “It Ends” comes in right after, Krill sound exhausted, and rightfully so. They have just run through so many philosophical conversations veiled in Twitter jargon that depression, anxiety, and panic attacks only add to the weight. The album’s peak comes when Krill resolve to make peace with life’s bitter irony on “Tiger”, a sprawling seven-minute number about overcoming anxiety. “I had a bad day, but at least it’s ending,” Furman sings, telling the story of a villager who is eaten by a tiger despite being “well-liked.” Like the beloved subject at hand, the song rolls back and forth, pulsing with warped bass and slippery guitar arpeggios that cushion Furman’s words until the drums collide violently. If the suddenness of a panic attack could make a sound, this would be it. Furman’s bass wobbles beside his lyrics about the ups and downs of the day. It all feels dizzying yet familiar. Then the three pummel noise straight into the speakers, a final salute before forking over self-control and sinking into the darkness. Labeling Krill as “slacker rock” would overlook their bizarre mix. There’s post-rock, prog rock, and indie rock in here, a fascinating balance of the shambolic and psychotic; being able to make it appear casual speaks to the strength of their songwriting. They’re passive-aggressive toward themselves, but with the Dostoevsky-inspired “Torturer” and role-playing as God on “Fly”, they’re making peace with the past and allowing themselves to reflect. This is a band that has found its footing. They meditate on rejection with hyper-aware indifference, a confidence old and new fans alike can welcome warmly.”
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A Distant Fist Unclenching is out now via Exploding In Sound; listen to “Torturer” below.
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Anthony Naples: Body Pill


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Even by the internet age’s accelerated standards, Anthony Naples‘ rise through the ranks of the electronic music elite has been a pretty quick affair. Just three years ago, Naples was a club-goer who had grown up in Florida with Miami bass and made his own way to Aphex Twin and early ’90s “intelligent” techno, but he had yet to record a single track of his own. In 2012, he gave his first attempt at production, a shuffling house jacker entitled “Mad Disrespect“, to the guys that ran Brooklyn’s Mr. Saturday Night event, who liked it so much they started a label to put it out, and within 18 months the rising star could count among his discography singles and EPs for respected imprints like Opal Tapes, Rubadub, Trilogy Tapes and Kieran “Four Tet” Hebden’s Text Records. Now Hebden has released Naples’ debut album, Body Pill, which the younger artist originally sent to his friend and mentor as a bunch of tracks intended for release as a “mixtape sort of thing” before Hebden suggested it was good enough to serve as Naples’ debut proper. For all its plus points – and there are many – one can certainly see why Naples didn’t plan on this being his first full-length artistic statement: clocking in at just shy of half an hour, Body Pill feels a little slight, and with most of them finishing before they hit the four-minute mark its eight tracks are largely denied the space and time that most club-focused productions are afforded to hit their stride. But hey, way to go leading with the negatives, right? On the pro side, despite its brevity Body Pill manages to cover a lot of stylistic ground, with cuts often mutating by the time they finish into something of a different genre entirely to the one in which they started: opener “Ris”, for example, spends two minutes drifting in synth-drone innerspace before hitting the accelerator and chugging off on the back of a (Kraut-) rocket, whilst “Abrazo” shifts imperceptibly from lurching tech-step to smooth 4/4 swing, and “Miles”‘ clattering tribal funk polyrhythms segue neatly into an extended outro of squelchy FlyLo-esque cosmic lounge jazz. Also impressive is the range of tones and textures, with the machine sheen largely blurred by a gauzey analog haze that suggests he picked up a few tricks whilst interning at a studio where Daniel (Oneohtrix Point Never) Lopatin was recording one of his ’80s VHS influenced masterworks, but – like the best of his pre-album discography – Body Pill works best when Naples picks a theme and works it into a sweaty mess, as he does on standout “Refugio”, which gives familiar Detroit and Chicago inspired elements a grimy roughing-up and, in the process, reminds us why he’s already considered a peer to nu-school “outsider” house and techno icons like Jamal Moss and Levon Vincent. Short and sweet, then, but when the worst thing you can say about a record is that there just isn’t enough of it, well… that’s really no bad thing.
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Body Pill is out now on Text Records; listen to “Refugio” below.
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Six Organs Of Admittance: Hexadic


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From the press release:
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Six Organs of Admittance’s Ben Chasny has a restless intellect, which has regularly guided the progress of his creation. A lyrical mastery of acoustic finger-picking would be enough to build a body of work for most musicians; this is just the stepping-off point for Ben. From the earliest days of private-press psych home recordings, Six Organs of Admittance has sought out alternative spaces in which to make music and has challenged his audience to keep up with his rapid advances into new terrain. Over the last two years, Ben has assembled a comprehensive system of musical composition. Designed to free sound and language from rational order and replace calculation with indeterminacy, the Hexadic System is a catalyst to extinguish patterns and generate new means of chord progressions and choices. The System builds all of the tonal fields, chord changes, scales, and lyrics on this record, creating the framework for the songs with which the musicians engage. Yet the System is open; within the framework,
 Chasny’s own personal aesthetics – such as the production mode of loud guitars, the order of songs, the editing of length – were all conscious decisions made to communicate the pieces. The exact same combinatorial patterns used on this record can create infinite results, depending on the choices of the individual. Ben’s years of study have produced an operational agent that has not only built all the songs on Hexadic but is also a system anyone can use to restructure their ways of habit. The first thing one notices when listening to Hexadic is how unhinged it all sounds. The album brews and boils with an ominously dark tone in a desolate space, somehow dense with energy, guitar overdriven past the point of sanity, slamming drum accents, vocals cutting through in what seems to be comprised of another, as yet unheard, language. Yet, inside the apparent wild abandon and destruction is a strict internal logic of construction that unveils itself upon listening. This is the majestic dialectic of Hexadic. The Sabbathian opening processional of “The Ram” is a call to another way of believing, but not the tired old satanic one. Instead, this is a system that gives power back to the people. This was a goal: to make heavy music with as few “heavy” signifiers as possible. The ones that are left: volume, distortion. The dynamic pastoral pieces that conclude the album, “Vestige,” and “Guild,” reflect on the possibility of synergistic ecstasy while acting as live demonstrations of the chaotic logic of the combinatorial/stochastic method. Even the slashing hardcore/nihil-wave onslaught of “Maximum Hexadic,” takes a backseat to the system, here operated in its tightest, briefest structure. Recording with Ben on Hexadic as Six Organs Of Admittance are his old Comets on Fire compartiot Noel Von Harmonson on drums, as well as his partner in Badgerlore, Rob Fisk, and San Francisco psych legend Charlie Saufley on bass.”
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Hexadic is out now on Drag City; listen to “Wax Chance” below.
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The Wave Pictures: Great Big Flamingo Burning Moon


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From the press release:
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Great Big Flamingo Burning Moon is the new album from English national treasures The Wave Pictures, co-written and produced by one of their all time heroes Billy Childish. Bursting with energy and ignited with a garage-rock spark, every note tingles with excitement at the collaboration and the album rings loud and bold, showcasing Dave Tattersall’s searing guitar solos and sharp lyrical wit. The album really lays its influences bare. Those who might not usually look past Tattersall’s distinctive vocal stylings might miss hearing touches of The Who in the title track or The Troggs in “All The Birds Lined Up Dot Dot Dot”. Tattersall swears that the song “The Telephone” is “The Wave Pictures in a nutshell: The Modern Lovers with Rory Gallagher on lead guitar.” It was while recording the song “Frogs Sing Loudly In The Ditches” that Billy commented that the band sounded like “a weird Cream” and proceeded to put the heaviest, bassiest feedback under it. In the studio they were joined by Juju Claudius who sang backing vocals on many of the songs and was a huge part of the character of the album. Yet it was Childish’s involvement that really shaped the record: the album was recorded entirely using Billy’s equipment, including his 60s Selmer amps, a 60s drum kit and his rocket-ship shaped guitars, and as well as producing the album and co-writing the songs, he plays guitar on several songs including the title track and the giant riff on first single “Pea Green Coat”. Billy Childish helped to bring out a different side to The Wave Pictures and inject a renewed enthusiasm to the recording process. Tattersall said that he; “was a joy to work with and we love the record. It was the most fun we’ve ever had making a record and to us it’s the most exciting sounding thing we’ve ever done.””
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Great Big Flamingo Burning Moon is out now on Moshi Moshi; listen to the title track below.
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Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth


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From the press release:
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“Keeping up a long-held tradition of bringing forth some of the heaviest music from the darkness of the Pacific NW, Seattle’s legendary Tad Doyle (formerly of TAD, Hog Molly), delivers his strongest songwriting and playing to date with his newest band Brothers of the Sonic Cloth. This powerful trio of musicians, with Tad on guitar/vocals, veteran bass player Peggy Doyle and drummer Dave French (The Anunnaki), bring together the collective and extensive rock histories and experience of the three members in the worlds of punk, hard rock and metal. The trio’s work on their self-titled debut offering – recorded at Robert Lang Studios and Tad Doyles’ own Witch Ape Studio in Seattle and mixed by Billy Anderson – is welcomingly unfamiliar, splicing serrated riffs through chilling post-punk drumming and hulking compositions which blow soulfully hot and desolately cold. Their long-form pieces present the kind of mature ideas and expansive progressions which outpace the listener’s short-term memory and lead you off the map; familiar landmarks like sludge, post-metal and rock all but disappear over the horizon. The record begins with an ominous eruption of riffs forged from deep within the earth entitled “Lava” and continues on this path throughout; a mammoth, relentless spirit on a timeless journey. Authentic and authoritative, this album is as much a persistent thudding body punch of sonic destructive force as it is a thoughtful statement of awareness and the inescapable raw condition of life.”
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Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth is out February 16 on Neurot Recordings; check out “Lava” below.
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