experimental posts

Fol Chen

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009 by Michelle

electropop // experimental

When asked to describe their sound, Highland Park’s Fol Chen said, “You know that mysterious black object that the creepy family is staring at on the cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Presence” album?” (Yes). “Fol Chen sound like that.” Cryptic descriptions aside, Fol Chen’s recently released Part I: John Shade, Your Fortune’s Made, is a dramatic debut. Their complex layers, which include strings, horns, multiple vocals and the requisite drum machine, are captivating. “Cable TV,” one of the standout tracks on the record, is a pounding, tongue-in-cheek dedication to cheap weekend escapes.

Cryptic, dark and danceable.
Fol Chen – Cable TV
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Thursday, January 29th, 2009 by Kyle

hypnotic // folk-soul

Vocalizing together since middle school choir in Oregon might give Emily and Theresa a helpful halcyon effect when becoming sound with Jenny and David. Sailing through tiny hairs standing on your skin, a respite, uplifting pleasure occurs from within celestial bounds of their hymn. While bats with lashes are subdued, a euphonic fountain springs relics to revive splendor – revealing love, truth, and care; held tight then let go as each plume chord feathers your heaven; until it’s over.

Sirens sing a ghostly Motown classic.
Warpaint – Billie Holiday
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Monday, January 19th, 2009 by Kyle

hip-hop // experimental

Imagine a soundtrack for the picture accompanying this post. Diego Chavez invents spare time for graphic design when not producing music as Aether, his other alias Otic Angst, with A.M. Architect, or for the hip-hop group Lotus Tribe and rock band The Panic Division. The diversity woven into Artifacts is mesmerizing; fusing grit with vibrance and molding casual, assured flows of conscious tranquility while keeping a youthful essence. Exponential describes this as a lovingly sculpted expression of beauty, love, tragedy, hope, and everything that makes us human.

Human elements of abstract hip-hop.
Aether – Orfeu Negro
Aether – Makeshift Sanctuary
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Saturday, January 17th, 2009 by Michelle

bedtime beats // pajama pop // indie folk

Shawn James Seymour and Yoshimi Tomida make up the husband and wife duo, Lullatone, from Nagoya, Japan. Lullatone’s first album was comprised of lullabies written by Shawn for Yoshimi, and their freshly recorded album is a collection of new lullabies for their child, Niko. Their appropriately self-dubbed “pajama pop,” is a playful blend of whispered vocals, unique instrumentals and carefully spaced beats. For the album, The Bedtime Beat, they mixed the ambient sounds of bedtime rituals, such as splashing bathwater and gentle snoring. Notably, in the song “Goodnight Train” they used a xylophone played with a violin bow to imitate the chug-chug of a train. Conceptual but not distancing, their comforting and alluring sound is far from boring. Rather, Lullatone’s songs are delightful gems that capture the familiar essence of home.

Sweet homemade lullabies.

Lullatone – The Bathtime Beat
Lullatone – Goodnight Train
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Tuesday, September 16th, 2008 by Kyle

classical // experimental

Let me go where you take me – childhood’s hour of bewildering delight. Pause only for concerns lasting moments already forgotten; where radiant lights and sounds shimmer haphazard perfections into play. Harmonious adventures subsisted by slight twitter, and glitter, of prepared flitter upon piano strings; riding waves in a carousel’s jubilee. Volker Bertelmann‘s forthcoming Ferndorf (Distant Village) unlocks uncharted passages. Ivory may tiptoe along veiled paths, as violins portray swaying leaves, and barely visible electronic trees branch recognition. His memories unravel beside nourishing cellos in a summer’s gala dream.

Recalling youth with esoteric, aural morsels.
Hauschka – Heimat
Hauschka – Alma
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Nathan Larson

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008 by Paul Irish

film music // melodic contemporary

First, watch:

While this video made the rounds late last year, the song stuck with me ever since. After some sleuthing (thx, brandon!), we know know that Mr. Nathan Larson is responsible for the delightful audio (and lernert for the video). He composed it originally for the 2004 film Palindromes by indie fave Todd Solondz. Inside the song, a lonely piano plays a somber waltz whilst a desperate female voice offers a most beautiful melody.

Lyrics that belie their melody’s beauty.
Nathan Larson – Aviva Pastoral

Label Spotlight: Exponential Records

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008 by Kyle

idm // trip-hop

Sampling the catalogue of Texas-based Exponential Records reminds me of savory Ninja Tune, Chocolate Industries, M3rck, and Eastern Developments labels. Started by Ernest Gonzales in 2000, he aimed to establish an art-and-music collaboration; hosting shows where both coincide. Every artist has a unique, well-developed style; backgrounds range from globe-traveling DJs, graffiti artists to designers, heavy thinkers, phreakers and family men. The beats initially drew me in, yet I surprisingly enjoyed the 8-bit Caviar of a genre which usually entices me less than Gyromite. Further exciting that vein is the repose melody of a Lullaby EP crafted for Ernest’s newborn baby to fall asleep to.

Deep-fried and delicious!
A.M. Architect – Unspoken
Ernest Gonzales – Caviar, Cigarettes, Dynamite, & Laserbeams
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Samsara Sound System

Saturday, January 19th, 2008 by Kyle

illbient // worldbeat

The Daf, Santur, and Bazantar are Middle East instruments you’ll hear alongside turntables and synthesizers in this Brooklyn-grown melange by a man called Professor Shehab. Having performed with Qaballah Steppers, Scarab, and The Baraka Orchestra, he’s no stranger to entrancing soundscapes. Alan Kushan, Bill Laswell, DXT, Mark Deutsch, and Mark Pistel of Meat Beat Manifesto lend their talents; cultivating elements of Turkish, Arabic, and Persian resonance into a unique illbient mood.

Tantalizing synapses.
Samsara Sound System – Shiraz
Samsara Sound System – Cycle In Progress
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Tuesday, January 15th, 2008 by Andrew Ladd

electronic // experimental

Kreidler has one of those sounds that teeters on the edge of being irritatingly experimental, but is pulled back by some solid acoustic instrumentation and a good sense of beat and build. Their debut, Weekend showcases an odd mix of chirps and clicks, along with some more conventional driving bass and lightly rocky drums. Some of it’s a bit Four Tet-ish, but it’s a little meaner with its melodies than the English artist, and the overall effect is something slightly darker.

German innovation.
Kreidler – La Capital
Kreidler – Sand Colour Classic
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Susumu Yokota

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008 by Andrew Ladd

electronic // ambient // soundscape

Susumu Yokota has released a somewhat ridiculous thirty (ish) albums over the last fourteen years, mainly in Japan and mainly in the house/techno genre. Over here in Angloland, though, he’s best known for his ambient electronica that’s a chilling sort of blend of The K&D Sessions and the Myst soundtrack. It’s all layers of hum, echoing bells, and sparsely shaken beats, and blends dreamily into one, beautifully rich canvas of sounds. The tracks here are from his 2002 The Boy and the Tree; his other ambient albums are Sakura, Grinning Cat, and Magic Thread.

Eerily hypnotic.
Susumu Yokota – Grass, Tree And Stone
Susumu Yokota – The Colour of Pomegranates
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