Tag Archives: music

RūdElgin Drops A New Heavy Hitter: RūdE Moods Vol 2

Well well well…it’s been way too long since any info has been pushed through this blogspace…once again.  On that note, here’s a quick lick of information regarding so BASS.  And some heavy BASS at that.

The old homie Elgin Hakala just dropped a new heavy hitting dubstep mix of the most excellent kind.  Deep, dark, agressive, and airy, completely with not a lick of cheesey Americanized falsestep whatsoever.  Having not heard a mix from Elgin in a while, I was extremely excited to see him toss out a mix of the exact same type of true grimey dubstep that I’ve been into for the past couple years.

With an incredible tracklist mixed to keep your body in the groove, this one will be loved by anyone into the deeper side of the step…fans of Kryptic Minds, Biome, DJ Madd, Truth, Versa & Rowl, Osiris Music, Deep Heads, etc will absolutely love this business.  GET IT.

Lights down, heads up, this one’s a percy and it’s for download at Elgin’s Soundcloud:
https://soundcloud.com/rudelgin/rudemoodsvol2

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Excellent News: A New Machinedrum LP On NINJA TUNE Is On The Way.

STOKE.  Checked my What.CD Top10 List before bed, and what did I see?  A new Machinedrum single?!  Well that’s about as good as it gets these days in the more progressive side of bass music as far as I’m concerned.  After “Room(s)“, his last major output in 2011 for Mike Paradinas’ Planet Mu, I become completely infatuated with Travis Stewart’s Machinedrum moniker all over again (as I had once before in the Merck Records days).  “Room(s)” took a look at current bass music rooting itself in juke, and spashed elements of breakbeat, jungle, drum&bass, house, and dubstep all over itself.  There’s even a gorgeous pure ambient track to finish the album out – I’d honestly never heard anything like it!  The album got me into the whole juke/footwork sound, along with expanding my palate as a whole, surrounding my intellect with just where bass music was and could be headed at that point in time.

Back on track – so to see this new single pop up, and listed as being released on Ninja Tune (only one of the best labels of the past twenty years), you could pretty much say I had a minor freak out.  Downloaded it right quick, popped my Sennheiser’s on, and let myself bask in more glory.

Immediately something is different comparatively speaking against “Room(s)“.  The tempo is all the way up at 172bpm!  We could be looking at a drum&bass track here, but no, as the track unfolds, pitch-shifted vocal edits (most likely Travis himself as on “Room(s)“), and a very broken kick drum open the track up.  About two-plus minutes in, it fully let’s itself go into a whirling drum&bass backed juke oriented head bobber.  The drum work is excellent, of course.  Politely layered and spaced well, hi-hats and snare rolls float on top of the jukey kick drum.  The new speed doesn’t muck up at all where he has been on the last album.  After a solid minute of getting hit hard, the track breaks down into a beautiful and spacious forty seconds of bliss before dropping the broken juke oriented kick drum all over your ears again.  These broken parts I can see dancefloors having an interesting time with, but when he really lets the track go, it really is clearly made for some serious breakbeat style dancing – whatever your pleasure.

Suffice to say, I am extremely excited for this release – “Room(s)” was in my Top 3 of 2011, and I could place a safe bet that this may make that same list for 2013.  Here’s the track on Youtube for ya:

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A coherent transmission from the Realm of Boards of Canada…FINALLY, as it’s only been eight years!

Well, well, well.  Looks like all the tricks in the past few months have finally, and truly, led up to something!  This evening on BBC Radio, the first ‘single’ (funny saying that about something BoC releated) off of the new Boards of Canada album was officially released over the air.  This subsequently spawned a load of Tweets and Blogging from anyone and everyone paying attention including, but not limited to: XLR8R, Helios, Warp Records (duh), Richard Devine, Tycho, Bleep (duh), Detroit Underground, AND even Boards of Canada themselves (who all of a sudden have a Twitter account with around 16,000 followers and growing, which you can find that account here: https://twitter.com/boctransmission.

Along with the announcement comes the ability to purchase the single digitally from Bleep, which can be done here: https://bleep.com/release/44127-boards-of-canada-reach-for-the-dead .  NOTE:  If you pre-order the album in either format (Vinyl or CD) you will instantaneously get a download of an MP3 of ‘Reach For The Dead’.

Even further, and more exciting, was the drop of an HD video of your usual nostalgic visuals to accompany the new track on BoC’s official webpage: http://boardsofcanada.com/.

Though, since I love you all, here is the video, embedded, so you don’t even have to think about clicking away from TravelsAndTuness:

The track itself…how is it?!  It’s Boards of Canada.  I mean, I’ve only heard it a few times now, so I’m not going to spout out some random nonsense of an opinion after hearing this so recently.  Something I’ve had to learn over and over with new music I’m excited about is simply to not expect anything!  Let it flow over you, and form an opinion later!  That said, the track is very moody (surprise?!), has a bit more crispness to it on the drums then many BoC tracks I’ve heard, and is full on deep in synth (surprise?!), riding throughout almost the entire five minutes.  It’s fantastic.  It’s Boards of Canada.  There’s a whole album coming out we can all process and think too much about very soon…in about two weeks!

This is where I would normally say: WINNING!

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Four Tet Randomly Drops New LP of Old Material!

Four Tet Randomly Drops New LP of Old Material!

WOW.  If you’re a music lover in the electronica or jazz world and don’t know Four Tet already, then, this is a great place to start!  For everyone else that hasn’t been hiding under a rock for the past 20 years or so, THERE IS A NEW FOUR TET RELEASE!

Apparently this is all material written from 1997 – 2001 or so, meaning – more tunes that sound like ‘Rounds’ (which is hands down, one of the best pieces of contemporary music to date)!

It’s currently available for a FREE DOWNLOAD on his Soundcloud ( https://soundcloud.com/four-tet/0181-1 ), so get on over to it and soak in the bliss!

Injoy!

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Music for the Ear…as of late. The Third.

August 15th, 2012

What what.  Seems I can’t keep up with myself on these.  Ah well, been busy!  In the headphones and on the Mackie’s…noise, psych-rock, some steppin’ thing called chillstep…it’s all over the place As of Late.

: Speck :
: Harmonia : Echotourist : 2012
:
~ ambient, drone, noise, experimental, modern.classical ~

Over the top excitement on this one!  I’m currently on some sort of third or fourth listen of this new album from who seems to be a fairly new artist, Speck.  I am utterly floored.  Inside of ‘Find Me, Find Me’ I am completely lost, yet drifting in a sense of my own dismay, and enjoying it!  The distortion on the guitars throughout this album is not for the faint of heart – Speck requires all of your attention and will to hold on.  Moments of intensity almost unbearable at times will float right into pockets of beauty, often lead by a grand piano, or maybe a harp.  Breathtaking.  Very remniscent of Christian Fennesz’s various works, yet even drier on the noise sections of the pieces.  I am taken aback by how well put together this entire 41 minutes are.  The two ‘Harmonia (Hymn)’s are particularly standout, although the length of the album really runs together as one piece quite smoothly.  Through the pieces lush riffs of melancholy vibrations lurk in the foreground, while pieces of what may be Speck’s life come twirling out at you in random patterns, making for a very disorienting ride…ride the waves of static, if you will.  I’d never heard of the new Echotourist label before, but I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on them.  If you’re a fan of noise, drone, field recordings, or of course, all three – this is not to be missed.

Catch free downloads from Echotourist at their Bandcamp page: http://echotourist.bandcamp.com/

: The Black Angels :
: Passover / Directions To See A Ghost : Light In The Attic : 2006 / 2008
:
~ psychedelic.rock, garage.rock ~

What can be said about The Black Angels?  They are by far one of my favorite active bands of the time.  I was introduced to them through a friend and was instantaneously sucked into their swirling tribal spiral.  The on-point repetitive drumming through many of the tracks add an element of hypnosis, pulling you in even deeper to the realm of the late 60’s and early 70’s guitar heavy era.  Groovy at times, if you will.  Guitarist Christian Bland’s guitar lines are wet with pedals as can be, continuously.  Flange, distortion, echo, and more…classic elements sounding fresh and inviting to your ears.  Alex Maas’s vocals are soothing to the ears, pulling feelings of Morrison through your brain again.  I had the pleasure of seeing them live (finally) this year in their hometown of Austin, Texas during their annual festival the Austin Psych Fest.  Four days of 8-10 hours of non-stop rock music bliss.  Their set was definitely a highlight out of the 50+ bands.  While the group now has three full length’s, the first two are just enough in a different direction to really hold them in a special place in my heart.  I will continue to follow this incredible project until they quit or disband, and know I will listen to these albums over and over for years to come!

: Stumbleine :
~ chillstep, chillwave, lo.fi, electronic, shoegaze ~

Alright, think of taking a bit of Burial, Baths, My Bloody Valentine, Boards of Canada, Shigeto, and maybe even a bit of newer BT, smashing them all together seamlessly, and rather politely.  That is the best way formulated to describe the sound heard from this project.  Almost 40 tracks I’ve gone through from Stumbleine now and I’m sucked in every time.  This could easily the closest sounding to what may be true chillstep.  Lush fields of nostalgia and new found love right after you lost a love are all around you.  Bask in it, if you will.  ‘Glacier’ from The Night Before is quite possibly the most listened to selection at the current moment.  The soft echoing vocal calls you into the state of mind being spoken to you throughout this uplifting three minutes and forty four seconds of pure joy.  Catchy popped riffs elegantly executed on top of the triple-clapped, crunched, and extremely wet snares; a style that has been becoming more and more of a standard within certain brands of subgenres of dubstep.  Not much information has come out so far about Stumbleine.  I honestly couldn’t find much intel out there in the good old World Wide Web besides the facts that the project is from the UK, joined Crackbook on 12/14/2010, and has a ton of music on their Soundcloud for you to fall in love with.

: Sensiva :
: Giosun : Sensotech : 2005 :
~ downtempo, idm, ambient, pre-glitch ~

This has to be one of the most amazing albums of it’s kind.  Every time I listen to it, which is somehow not more often, I am taken aback by mesmerizing beauty unfolding in my ears.  Each track is carefully gliding right through your senses, filling them with another land, not far off, but just within reach over the horizon.  The weather is beautiful, if you will.  Being the only release on Sensotech, Russian Artem Galukhin (Артём Галухин) delivers a true masterpiece, one even the brothers of Boards of Canada, whom it seems to be partially inspired by, would appreciate.  The pieces are synth haunting heavy throughout, yet always reminding you at all times how beautiful life actually can be (and is).  Multi-layered drum sections allow you to gently ride the river down this immense drone filled cavern.  Unfortunately Sensiva hasn’t been heard from in years at this point, but one can always hope that more material may surface someday.  Definitely can sense this one being a favorite for many many years to come.

Phish
~ rock, jam.band, folk, space jazz ~

This may surprise some of you to read this.  Well, be surprised, be very surprised.  I absolutely LOVE Phish.  My first girlfriend ever introduced them to me through the “A Live One” live CD on Elektra back in 1996 or so.  Since then I’ve had my waves of going in and out of listening to them non-stop, and this summer has been one of those IN times.  Massively addicted with no end in sight, if you will.  Along with the incredible collection of live shows that what.CD has to offer, and working outside (Phish goes great with the outside, don’t ya know?), there has been “way too much” Phish going on around the property according to my roomie.  Beyond that I will say nothing, but I will list off a few of the selections I’m listening to on repeat lately:

Hampton Comes Alive – Wading In The Velvet Sea, Sabotage (Beastie Boys), Mike’s Song
“A Live One”: Gumbo, The Squirming Coil
2012/07/01, East Troy, WI: Gotta Jibboo, No Quarter (Led Zeppelin), Farmhouse, Happiness Is A Warm Gun (The Beatles)
2012/07/08, Saratoga Springs, NY: Foam, David Bowie, You Enjoy Myself
July 4th, 2010, Alpharetta, GA: This set is over the top!  Bowie, Jibboo, Ghost>Waste, and a Mike’s Groove with Mike’s Song>Tela>Harpua>KILLING IN THE NAME OF (Rage Against The Machine)>Harpua>Weekapaug Groove.  Encore with First Tube.  Incredible show!!
Field of Heaven, Fuji Rock Festival, July 31, 1999 – Niigata, Japan: 2001

Wen
: Unreleased/Soundcloud :
~ post.dubstep, minimal, 130bpm, bass.music ~

Glorious.  Stumbled across this thickness through a good old friend of mine who knows more about the true sounds of dubstep as a whole more than anyone I know.  He sent me over to his Soundcloud page, and the evening I decided to check it out, I ended listening to everything he has posted up, possibly multiple times.  Extremely minimal, lush, subtle, cleanly dirty, and at a different than normal speed than most songs in what’s subgenre.  Some of the best dubstep I’ve really…ever heard!  Reminiscent of Kryptic Minds’s extremely clean yet spacious sounds, yet bringing in more of a light tough of Eastern influence instead of locking you away in the basement the whole time.  Completely blown away.  Wen has no official releases yet, but the mind’s behind Dusk + Blackdown seem to be keen on the youngster, with rumors of some output on their Keysound Recordings.  We can only hope.  Until then I will continue to soak in whatever he puts up on Soundcloud, which by the way is at this link: http://soundcloud.com/w3n/tracks  Excited to see what the future hold’s for this newcomer!

Badaboom.  ‘Till next time.

~S~

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Music for the Ear…as of late. The First.

June 9th, 2012

In getting my what.CD account activated again, the new barrage of music has started to flow heavily once again after taking a break while traveling.  Going a bit overboard, the flood has been a bit sporadic in nature, spanning a large field of genres.  Here’s what’s been getting scooped up by my ears As of Late:

: The Mars Volta :
: De-Loused In The Comatorium : Universal Records : 2003 :
~ rock, psychedelic, progressive rock, latin, jazz, electronica ~

The Volta’s first record.  I remember a friend of Flando and I’s came over, dropping this album on us.  I’d never heard anything like it.  One large moving -flow of pleasure waves, hitting all points of your emotional psyche.  Ecstatic rhythms seldom stay in one time signature for all that long – random movements of tripped out electronic synths – Led Zeppelin style vocals completely take attention of your head, screaming down your spine…  Digging into the album a bit we find that Flea (of the Red Hot Chili Peppers) is on bass in songs throughout the album, most notably on the final track, “Take The Veil Cerpen Taxt“.  Digging deeper we find Mr. Rick Rubin co-producing the record (w/ the Volta’s musical genius frontman Omar Rodriguez-Lopez) in an abandoned and supposedly haunted old house, where a studio lives in the basement.  A full on concept album, the short story was written by lead singer Cedric Bixler-Zavala and sound manipulation artist Jeremy Michael Ward, the album is an hour-long tale of Cerpin Taxt; a man who enters a week-long coma after overdosing on a mixture of morphine and rat poison. The story of Cerpin Taxt alludes to the death of El Paso, Texas artist — and Bixler-Zavala’s friend — Julio Venegas (1972–1996).’ (1)  If you are at into hearing some of the past decade’s most forward thinking psychedelic progressive rock, you’ll definitely want to check this out.  I’d dare to say this is one of my favorite albums, period.

(1) Wikipedia.org

: Blamstrain :
: Ensi :  Merck Records : 2003 :
~ idm, ambient, downtempo, experimental ~

Another first in 2003!  Finnish artist Juho Hietala, who goes by the ever so odd name of ‘Blamstrain‘, drops an instant Merck Records classic with his career’s first LP.  Beeps, clicks, pops, hidden futuristic vocals, heavy basslines, and full swooping pads politely fit together throughout this entire record.  A range of styles of drum patterns continue to make the album seem like a constant journey in a deep black to blue to gray cave, once in a while finding a tiny hole to the outside, then most certainly seeing the light.  The personal standout track is “Alive In Arms“.  I found this on track on wax years ago, had no idea it was a 45 and played on 33 repeatedly.  Opening it up heavily made the joyful nature of the track expand upon itself in the greatest way.  Fantastic record!!

: D-Bridge :
: The Gemini Principle : Exit Records : 2008 :
~ drum&bass, ambient, tech-step ~

D-Bridge’s only and Exit’s first full length in 2008 is a drum & bass masterpiece.  Taking a minor step away from the dance floor style, ambience moves most of the background of the album with gorgeous washes of lushness.  Though many songs seem to feed off of the 85 side of the bpm, the album sits right around the 170bpm mark consistently throughout the work, racing drums kick out at you, programmed in a complex way, but that’s easy to deal with.  Calibre makes an appearance on ‘Ponderosa‘, churning out a liquid grooved beauty.  Sensual vocals ride the basslines at times.  Your d&b crunchy synth is softly used all over, adding flavor, but never taking over.  There’s even a bassy LFO experiment included in the rest of the drum & bass perfection that is this album.

  

: Truth :
: Insanity/Skitzo EP : Boka Records : 2012 :
: Dreams/Last Time : Tempa : 2012 :
~ dubstep, half-step, UK, bass music ~

Truth has been quite active so far here in 2012.  These two EPs show the two showcase different sides of the project, and both sides are equally as well thought out as the other.  The second record for Boka Records comes out swinging with an incredibly groovy bass cavern styled hard hitter.  On the B-Side, the LFO takes over, carrying the track as it morphs all over the place.  Great hi-hat work on the ‘Skitzo‘ tune!  The A-Side on Truth’s first on Tempa provides a trippier, less dance-floor friendly look into the style, with a hypnotic vocal & pad combo that ends you up lost in your own head.  The flip brings it up a notch and gets bouncy into a swingin’ minimal half-stepper.  Both tracks end up being keepers, and both records are great pieces for the crate at the moment.

: Sigur Rós :
: Valtari : Parlaphone, EMI, XL : 2012
:
~ ambient, post-rock, folk, experimental, modern classical ~

Valtari” is the band’s first original work since a break starting in 2008, and frontman Jón Þór Birgisson‘s first completely solo side project.  Taking an even more ambient direction that previous works, the album is mostly movements of modern classical post-rock bliss, done only like Sigur Rós can.  Gorgeously full pieces are layered with distorted bowed guitar, fluttering strings, and melancholy piano, and of course, always backed by Birgisson’s falsetto and sometimes very haunting voice.  It definitely takes the right mood to set into the vibe they are thickly laying down within these pieces.  ‘Varúð‘ is one of the standout selections for me on this record.  The bursting fleets of pure happiness speckled across the dotted regions of joy produce such a rush that you can feel the physical side effects from the music.  Climactic a bit?!  Absolutely.  If you’re lucky enough, they’ll be coming to your area on their US tour this summer.  They provided me with two of my favorite live act shows that I’ve seen in my life, luckily, inside Benoroya Hall.  Highly recommend!

: The Smashing Pumpkins :
: Mellon Collie and The Infinite Sadness :
: Virgin, Hut Recordings : 1995:
~ alternative rock, 1990’s ~

Need I say anything here?  Not really.  I don’t know why exactly I started listening to this again, but it had been YEARS, and I’m stoked I did.  From the classical and subtly inviting beginning at Dawn, this double disc LP holds it’s test of time here in 2012.  Absolute Classic.

~S~

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