File Name: SoundCloud
Artist: Primal Scream Title: It's Alright, It's OK File Name: SoundCloud Genre: Alternative Year: 2013
Artist: Primal Scream Title: Official File Name: SoundCloud Genre: Alternative
This Austin trio's debut was a pitch-perfect evocation of early 4AD LPs of yore. With a bigger budget and more professional sheen, the group explores more textures but fails to create many songs to compliment their atmospheric prowess. If you're a young musician or band that is just starting your career, there is no greater gift -- or curse -- than having your very first effort get bestowed with the following words: "it's a promising debut." Promising because you might be good but you're not there yet. You need to figure some things out first, cut back on your [...]
Artist: PURE X Title: Thousand Year Old Child File Name: SoundCloud
Tim and Susan Bauer Lee are songwriters who can celebrate the good times while giving a nod to the hard times, because they make the good times all the better. The thing about TimLee3 that is both reassuring and disconcerting is their sound is so familiar and comfortable that by the time you've heard this album for the third time it seems like it's been a part of your collection for 20 years. But then, when you try to describe just what it is you're hearing, it shifts on you, suddenly, like the transmission of one of the souped-up [...]
They could have done something interesting with this idea, something exaggerated and unlovely. Recording novelty versions of pop songs is one thing, but saying that you're "extending the possibilities of the cello" by doing so is just cheeky. Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser extend the possibilities of the cello across 13 tracks, most of which will be familiar to anyone who has been listening to mainstream radio over the past few decades or so. Behold "Highway to Hell", "Candle in the Wind", "Clocks", "Voodoo People", etcetera. Track 11...
Solar bears turn in an interesting album of ambient pop that wears the group's influences proudly on its sleeve. Sometimes for good, sometimes for bad. Solar Bears' latest covers a wide pastiche of instrumental styles, with opener "Stasis" coming across like the best echoes of Delerium, Enigma, Robert Miles, and even a faint touch of Enya thrown in a blender. It's all discordant, echo-ambience until "Cosmic Runner" gets going. Their penchant for basic hip hop beats behind the music continues here - and it serves as an evocative, fun start to the disc. From a mix of reverb-drenched guitar [...]
Cambridge, England's Lychgate craft black metal that's heavier on artistry and atmosphere than it is on violence and vitriol. But that doesn't mean "Sceptre to Control the World", from their forthcoming self-titled LP, won't crack a few skulls, either. Lychgate is of the black metal camp less concerned with bludgeoning you with speed and noise (not that there's anything wrong with that, mind you) than covering you with riffs and atmosphere and squeezing you to death gradually. "Sceptre to Control the World" rolls in like a thick fog, carried by coiling melodic guitar lines that wrap around both the [...]
Venture my way into the dark where we can sweat. One takes the 128th most acclaimed album by the hand. Animal Collective's indie rock sensation is the focus of this week's Counterbalance. Klinger: Well, Mendelsohn, last week you asked me if the canon was still open, what with the inclusion of slightly more recent records like Radiohead's In Rainbows on the Acclaimed Music aggregate of the greatest albums of all time. Now this week we have Animal Collective's Merriweather Post Pavilion, an actual, honest to God album that was released not just during this century, but right at the [...]
This insightful and entertaining look at the history of music piracy offers invaluable background to the hot-button issue of creativity and the law. Reprinted from Democracy of Sound: Music Piracy and the Remaking of American Copyright in the Twentieth Century (footnotes omitted) by Alex Sayf Cummings with permission from Oxford University Press USA. © 2013 Oxford University Press. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or printed without permission in writing from the publisher. || 1 || (Music, Machines, and Monopoly Music lends itself to reproduction. A musician composes a song by fumbling for the right chords,...
One half of Underworld goes solo and avoids the two main pitfalls of doing so, redundancy and pointless novelty. It's natural to be little suspicious of solo albums, especially the first solo album by someone who's productively worked in a group setting for years (and maybe extra especially when that group is still a going concern?). Popular music has a rich, sometimes hilarious history of musicians who are famous and/or beloved ditching their usual collaborators, at least temporarily, for all sorts of reasons. But often those reasons range from pointless to megalomaniacal, and not...
Artist: GrillMarketing Title: Karl Hyde "The Boy with the Jigsaw Puzzle Fingers" (Radio edit) File Name: SoundCloud Genre: Alternative
Artist: Sampler Title: Karl Hyde - Edgeland File Name: SoundCloud Genre: Alternative Year: 2013
Artist: The Appleseed Cast Title: Illumination Ritual Album Sampler File Name: SoundCloud Genre: Post-rock Year: 2013
Bernstein gets Sexmob back out of the freezer for a cinematic tribute sure to thaw any detractor of campy jazz. More than 30 years ago, Hal Willner, the great master of the all-star jazz tribute project, released Amarcord Nino Rota, an album of Nino Rota covers that featured Bill Frisell, Steve Lacy, Muhal Richard Abrams, Wynton Marsalis, and Carla Bley, just to name a few. And while Nino Rota's soundtrack work for the films of Federico Fellini is still floating around, a copy of Amarcord Nino Rota will criminally cost you 50 bones at the...
Úlfur paint pretty auditory pictures that lack the necessary focus for sustained engagement. I will always have a soft spot in my heart for all things Icelandic. Landscapes, people, food, movies, and especially music; if it hails from the land of shaggy little horses and rotten shark you can count me in. I spent my junior year of college at the University of Iceland and fell hopelessly in love with the place. So the following review for Úlfur's new record White Mountain will be inevitably colored by my...
Snapper's sound -- less jangly than the Clean, more fierce than the 3Ds -- is both of a piece with the Flying Nun aesthetic and utterly singular. Like so many New Zealand bands, Snapper has ties to a lot of acts. There's not really sibling rivalry in the kiwi-pop of the late '70s, '80s, and ''90s, but these bands all seem related. Snapper was fronted by Peter Gutteridge, previous of the Clean, the Chills, and the Great Unwashed. Drummer Dominic Stones went on to play in the excellent 3Ds. Their work as Snapper, along with Christine Voice and Alan [...]
Artist: Snapper Title: S/T (1988) File Name: SoundCloud Genre: Alternative Year: 2013
Hüsker Dü's Grant Hart has a new solo project releasing this summer via Domino Records. The Argument has seriously literary -- as well as musical -- ambitions, based as it is on the legendary "Paradise Lost" poem by John Milton. The album sees the light of day on 22 July, but two preview songs have just been released to spark interest in the endeavour.
Artist: Domino Record Co Title: Is The Sky The Limit? File Name: SoundCloud Genre: Rock 'n' Roll Year: 2013
Stylish synths, cool atmosphere and great vocal interplay make the LA duo's debut EP a brilliant first step. Nothing hymnal in Hymnal, but what we get is much better. The LA duo In the Valley Below's three-track debut EP lies somewhere between atmospheric soundscapes and outwardly bouncing melodies, coming off like Husky Rescue inspired by urban metropolises after dark rather than nature. The mix of stylish synth tones and sparingly but effectively used live instruments is a great one, but the key element here is the equal lead vocal duty share the two...
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- The-Dream *Def Jam* - High Art ft. Jay-Z
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