Rapper Shyland Flowers raps on a smooth live performance of World’s Worst Boyfriend on Hoodoo Music Podcast. Between clever lines that are a little too close to real life for comfort, and an infectious hook at the chorus, Mr. Flowers brings the slow fire!
When Baltimore synthpop duo Pale Spring released their debut album Cygnus, we knew right away that it was something special. The perfect blend of mid-90s euroglam downtempo beats from synth sorcerers Drew and Emily Harper Scott, featuring those warm, glowing vocals that hang impossibly in space. It’s a sleek, stylish release full of deep, moonlit electronica and spotlight bright lyrics, suitable for a black-tie-only affair, or for a dimly lit underground rave in the dead of night.
Chicago electronic noisemaker, RXM Reality returns for another stunning release on Hausu Mountain. Devil World Wide is a supercharged chunk of fragmented energy, pulsating through layers of microscopically sampled sound, cascading through eleven layers of grimy, scattered electronic whiz-bangers. I had a chance to spend a little time with RXM and delve into the creative machinations behind the music.
Pittsburgh-based pop/rock/indie/hip-hop duo BBGuns has released their album Help Yourself, and it’s a bright, flavorful shot of summertime reverie. Filled with chunky beats, infectious vocal lines, and clever rapping, Help Yourself is a huge sugar rush of music that never really goes out of style, presented in a fresh and colorful way.
I had a chance to catch up with with JP, one half of this dynamic duo, our conversation started just as we were both getting off work one afternoon. BBGuns had just participated in a 24 hour livestream.
Pittsburgh, PA indie band String Machine releases the title track to their upcoming album Death of the Neon, which will be out August 2nd. This track represents the full release quite well, showcasing folksy songwriting, multi-part harmonies, and dynamically shifting compositions that build and release tension in varied and surprising ways. Stay tuned for a full review of this stellar album.
The release of this track is a great follow up to the debut of this video for another track, Eight Legged Dog, which appeared on July 2nd. The video. Not the dog. I’d be terrified of an eight legged dog. Anyway, it’s a great video, so we’ll include that as well:
Peredam tapes has released six collections of mixes by a couple of last.fm era aliases of Qualchan.- gngsgns and bopapocalypse. There are three releases for each.
The gngsgns releases are chopped mixtapes of mostly hip hop, and each is themed around a different Texas city. Welcometodallas is a pleasantly churning mixture of high falootin’ city sounds and seedy underbelly hip hop grooves.
ftworthherointrips is a more laid back excursion into chopped/screwed blending a syrup of slowed down beats and altered realities.
screwston, man is the final of the gngsgns releases as Qualchan. states in the album description,
“another archival release from the humid summer of 2k11. this was the last gngsgns. release as i discovered two white edm ding dongs from the midwest were also using the name & i didn't want to be associated with them, so i moved onto greener pastures with bopapocalypse. the tape version (which disappeared when my old macbook died) had a fifteen minute edit of bjork's unravel.”
Along with some nicely mellowed joyride jams, there are some other humorously obvious samples and loops, that the artist unashamedly includes as an illustration of his early curation and sampling style.
In fact, each of these releases is presented in its original form.
“again some of the song choices are a little questionable in hindsight but i am just putting out everything warts & all”
The Bopapocalypse releases are similar in style and build to the gngsgns releases, pitch-bent clips of hip hop and pop songs blended into casual mixtapes to while away the recreational hours. The first of these is
free ted kaczynski., on which each of the tracks is named after a city that the famous domestic terrorist sent an explosive device to. On the Nod demonstrates a honing of Bopapocalypse’s mixing skills, with tighter, more aggressive compositions.
The final Bopapocalypse mixtape marked the end of the era, and the transition of the artist into Qualchan. Listen carefully for alterations of style and purpose:
All of these mixes are a free download and. even without deep analysis of an artist forming a style - they’re perfect chopped and screwed hip hop jams that you can download for free.
Ratskin Records announces a new EP by unique experimental artist Tyler Holmes, entitled Devil. This new EP will build on Holmes’ previous three releases, which feature widely varied styles and techniques of music-making. While those releases pushed outward against boundaries and borders, Devil looks inward, to the mores and messages that shape us as children and follow us into adulthood.
Collections of Dead Souls is Timothy Anderson, of Austin, Texas. He is an artist who creates chaotic works of synth and sound, that buzz with narrative energy. His latest release, Synth Explorations Of The Unconscious Mind Vol i, warns of the injustice of modern society, while also transmitting a peaceful tone, full of hope and magic. I had a chance to catch up with Timothy to talk about it.
Gray Lee: Thanks for taking the time to talk with me. How long have you been creating music under the name 'Collections of Dead Souls?'
Timothy Anderson: I started making this form of electronic music around January 2014, didn't come up with the name until about July of 2016.
It was actually in a motel on the Las Vegas Strip that I came up with the name.
G: It really stands out. It was definitely the name that drew me in at the beginning. But you’ve made music in other forms for much longer.
T: Yea, I started playing guitar in my teens, got a 4 track when I was 17, started playing around with recording.
Then I was recording under the name FONADI, eventually adding a Korg MS2000 and a Korg Electribe to the mix.
These are some of those tracks.
G: Ok so you branched into synths pretty early on.
T: Yea, it was really more of a had to do it kinda thing. I needed a rhythm section as it were, and instead of finding other musicians, I just learned to do everything myself. Main influence at the time was Aphex Twin and Godflesh, (that hasn't changed) so figured why not?
G: You seem to work from a broad range of influences, including rock, ambient, electronica, harsh noise - each one of your releases has its own vibe. What's your creative process like? Do you start with a concept and then create to shape that, or create free form works and see what comes out of them - or is it a combination?
T: Usually a concept. The idea has always been to tell some kind of story through synths and drum machines.
- or in the case of "Because I Rushed It" I was really really drunk.
G: I’ve been listening to the new release and it does have that conceptual feel. I think the first thing I noticed about Synth Explorations of the Unconscious Mind Vol I is the way the song titles work together to create a sentence - a statement.
T: Yea. That was the intention. I've been constantly travelling for years, and was always spouting off everywhere about various anti-capitalist and anarchist topics in strange places. It's kind of been a theme in a lot of my releases.
G: Your works certainly don't mince words.
And your relationship with the evils of this world are more concrete than most people may imagine. In fact, up until very recently - you were homeless.
T: Yea, but I've been homeless a lot over the last few years. Joined OccupyDC in January 2012, which was essentially going to DC to live on the streets and march on Washington. Daily.
So, yea, it sucked, but.....
I got better. I think.
It's tough to get off the streets, but, it's just about keeping your head up, and trying to stay on a path out.
G: Congrats on making it off the street.
I think it's amazing that living on the streets, you were able to continue making and releasing music, even doing all your own cover art
T: Thank you. Laptop and iPad. Just learned everything I could about everything I possibly could. I looked at music and art as a way to keep my head together, and maybe release some pressure of my situation, as well as at least keeping me in coffee and whatnot.
G: I must say, though this new release was recorded while homeless, and bears strong messages about the ills of our society - I often found the tone to be strangely peaceful.
T: I didn't want to make anything other that something that would fill the soul with a strange kinda smile and uplifting feeling. Life is short, miserable and confusing. I wanted to make something that for a bit, someone could escape into, leaving those feelings behind.
G: I believe you accomplished that. The blissful escape of it is tangible, even amid more chaotic sequences.
T: Thank you. It was somewhat tough, when the situation dictated a noise album. I did not want to make another noise album. Although I did release a couple one off noise tracks for a few comps and singles.
G: How do you think your creative process will change now that you have privacy, a place to keep your gear, and a myriad of other things people don't realize they have?
T: It won't. I've been working this way for so long, I don't see any reason to change it. I'm only here to share a story, to share ideas, I will not change much on how I create these things.
G: That’s the truest art, to continue expressing regardless of any change or situation, whether for good or for ill.
T: Thanks. I've got to stay true to this, even if it just relegates it to some 99cents bin of history.
G: Yeah definitely keep going with your creative endeavors. I'm looking forward to seeing what you do next.
T: The DVD.
G: Yes the DVD! What's that all about?
T: The audio track was recorded about a year ago, and Jorge Mario Zuleta contacted me about making a film. I said ok. I was on the streets at the time, and encouraged him to try and finish it for SXSW as I wanted to do something like project it onto the side of the homeless shelter. SXSW ended, I couldn't do it, so in the interests of getting it out there, I'm putting together complete wtf art package things for anyone who orders.
G: That sounds sick, sign me up for that.
T: It's going to be a box of stuff. Every single package will be unique in some way. A little part of Collections of Dead Souls.
Collections of Dead Souls’ releases can be found at https://collectionsofdeadsouls.bandcamp.com/
Headboggle - “Polyphonic Demo”
Headboggle, who has been flipping wigs with a wild electronic spree of imaginatively composed synth masterpieces for years, releases Polyphonic Demo, a brain-bending collection of forty-four, one-minute tracks that serve as small windows into a series of different worlds. Right away, i want to analyze the word “demo” in the title. This is not a demo. I believe that in this context, “demo” is short for “demolition,” as in the demolition of the listener’s expectations of how recorded music should behave.
I can feel the gears turning inside of you. You are resistant to listening to a disc full of one-minute tracks, because you are convinced what it will just feel like someone flipping through their music collection, and listening to the first 60 seconds of every song. This resistance is not unnatural - but completely wrong. Polyphonic Demo flows like a narrative story, taking you on a tour through a hall of wonders, sharing a bite-sized piece of each strange chapter of your travels. It is highly unconventional, yet ultimately enjoyable way of experiencing Headboggle’s unusual musical perspective. Fans of Headboggle - you don’t want to skip this one.
From the label:
“San Francisco's Derek Gedalecia's long-standing HEADBOGGLE moniker has boasted over 100 releases in his twenty plus years composing and releasing music that spans from dense layered modern electronics, sputtering noise, modular and Buchla based synthesizer works, avant neo-classical, to giddy electronics and even ragtime piano, but none of these 100 plus releases have fully purged the deepest depths of unexplored sonic territories, with the inspired urgency and strategic extraction of unheard electronic compositions as his newest record, titled Polyphonic Demo, to be released on CD and digital this April 22 via Oakland, CA imprint Ratskin Records. On Polyphonic Demo, Gedalecia abandons all notions of what experimental music is "supposed" to sound like to offer a exploding, tense, exuberant, and refreshingly idiosyncratic take on synthesizer music. With forty-four one minute tracks, meant to be shuffled on CD or remain in their sequenced order, Gedalecia completely re imagines what is possible both compositionally and spatially within the confines of a sixty second track, or an album for that matter. Gedalecia constructs poignant, cinematic vignettes which offer a glimpse into dense, psychedelic zones. "Polyphonic Demo" is the listening adventure of abstract, yet masterfully grounded take on electronic music we've all been waiting for. “
Track Premiere - Headboggle - “Country Club Road
“Headboggle splinters his typically all-encompassing style of synth composition into tiny one minute morsels & the results play out like fellow Bay Area legends The Residents on their Commercial Album: short and sweet, presenting each idea as a discrete miniature world and moving on. Derek presents a comprehensive taxonomy of the tones and strategies within his arsenal of synths and electronics, finding room for everything from glistening classical-informed harmonies to the bludgeoning rhythmic squelches that have become his signature. Across 44 tracks, Derek dilates time and sketches out some oblique narrative known only to him that seems to contain infinite details”.
- Max Allison, Hausu Mountain
Video for “Blue Guitar”
“ HOLY SHIT Headboggle has gone “commercial” with (44) one-minute jingles of brain-damaged intent. I can’t get over this joker’s Modern Ballroom Dancing © sound - puts me super smiley in the headspace of Mort Garson or The Residents. My favorite release of his so far.”
- Bran (...) Pos
Derek Gedalecia, a.k.a. Headboggle, has been performing electronic keyboard-based soundscapes for several years in the Bay Area in over a hundred local performances at venues ranging from GTK to YBCA. Incorporating lowbrow with highbrow art, music, and comedy, Head Boggle’s intent is to fuse together a new ecstatic improvisational performance style with a carefully crafted musical underbed. In his formative years, Gedalecia studied classical and ragtime piano from noted ragtime composer/revivalist Dr. Brian Dykstra.
Preorder Polyphonic Demo starting 3/22/19:
The Hoodoo Music Festival. A New Upstate Tradition?
The inaugural Hoodoo Music Festival (HMF) rocked the suburbs on Saturday, December 15th at a house venue in Greenville, SC. Nine musical guests brought exquisite sonic sensations that titillated eardrums from the early afternoon to the late evening.
The Hoodoo Music Podcast-a fortnightly show featuring musicians from the Upstate of South Carolina-served as the catalyst and inspiration for the event. Mark Jones, the podcast’s host, relates the origins of the festival. “Several people who are supporters of the podcast and the local scene at large decided that they wanted to put together a festival of bands who have been on the podcast,” Jones said.
The planning and execution of the event was an organic and harmonious undertaking with love for local music being the prime motivator. Lin Young and her husband Tom Goss hosted the event at their house venue, Turkey Point South. “When we heard there was going to be a Hoodoo Music Fest, we immediately offered our house,” Young said. Turkey Point South offered a spartan, yet cozy atmosphere; an unfinished, unheated basement made warm and inviting by the conviviality of the hosts and the passion of the performers and festival goers.
The festival sported a diverse lineup of musicians and groups reflecting favorably on the eclectic variety of the Upstate scene.
Singer-songwriter Gray Lee (the driving force behind Houdini Mansions) kicked off the festivities with his dark-folk musical stylings. Lee delivered a rousing improvisation of the Hoodoo Music theme with musicians from other bands providing guest accompaniment.
The festival’s momentum kept building with Revelator taking the stage and serving up 90s alt-rock nostalgia in heaping dollops.
The event then returned to a coffee-shop vibe with singer-songwriter Loyd Van Horn’s energetic folk rock and raspy vocals.
Genre-wise, the HMF took an abrupt left-turn with rapper Ty Graves laying down his wicked flows over deliciously grooving beats.
The musical mash-up continued with genre-defying rockers Finding Freedom playing songs ranging from country, classic rock and nu-metal. The Apartment Club then took the stage delivering blistering post-rock with emotive, melodic vocals. Civility and good sense then took a brief intermission when swamp-punk duo Boo Hag dished out their frenzied, Pabst Blue Ribbon-fueled set.
The rowdiness continued with Horrible Girl and the Hot Mess bringing feisty punk with catchy choruses and power-chorded aggression. The event culminated with Apricot Blush packing the stage as a collective of talented troubadours brewing their unique mojo of indie folk. The night climaxed as the audience donned blue choir robes to sing along with the crowd-favorite Antlers.
Those involved with the event deemed it a roaring success pointing to the fact of being able to collect donations of canned food, money and clothes for the non-profit organization Food Not Bombs. “I personally had a blast,” Jones said. “I think it turned out very well, and we managed to pull together some good donations for Food Not Bombs.”
“We were able to give a pretty substantial donation to Food Not Bombs,” Young said. “And I feel like a bunch of beautiful people had a great night here. I know I did!”
When asked if the HMF will be a yearly event, Jones replied, “I sure as hell hope so!”
Apricot Blush brought the house down with their crowd-pleaser Antlers! Check the exclusive, live-performance video below!
Toronto rockers Pretty Matty have released a video for Kicked Out, a standalone single with plans to release next year. Kicked Out carries forward the exuberant and fresh songwriting that characterized the Pretty Matty EP released earlier this year. Don’t miss it. It’s really short, but a lot of fun. And don’t forget to nab the Pretty Matty EP, either. You can get that here:
ALSO: here's a huge event featuring Pretty Matty:
Today, vaporwave producer and vocalist, Eccodroid releases Hologram Hex, a four-track album on 3” CDR format from Pacific Plaza Records. The release features a rainy and cool vaporwave vibe with original lyrics and vocals, a signature of Eccodroid’s style.
Hologram Hex opens with a A Thousand Missing Calls, a moody electronic piece augmented with thunder & rain samples where Ecco delivers an almost disaffected vocal reminiscent of Damon Albarn’s dead-eyed drawl. Fading carries the theme forward with a slow jam with a gentle bass line and ambient backings, topped with a reverb drenched vocal that drifts in an out of the spotlight. The third selection, Low Def, is built on a driving beat and a looping synth pattern, while the title track, Hologram Hex, closes out with groovy bass, some panned accents, and a nice buzzing synth solo after the first chorus. Other unidentified sounds tumble in and out of the mix like a ghostly bowling alley.
Overall, this release is a natural step in Eccodroid’s evolution, introducing new elements and techniques that play well into this thematic work, and presented in an artistic, collectible fashion with Pacific Plaza sensibilities.
[Video] A Thousand Missing Phone Calls
Halloween and music are deeply intertwined, from horror movie soundtracks, to ghostly dark ambient vibes. Here are a few choice releases that can get your blood pumping, WHILE YOU STILL HAVE BLOOD!
VHS GLITCH - “They Made Me an Animal
This synthwave concept piece is full of creepy fun, referencing all the great 80s horror film soundtracks, and supercharging them with aggressive beats. It’s got the scare vibes and chase scenes all strung together, with enough masks, knives, and buckets of blood to make you scream!
This is John Carpenter on a futuristic motorcycle, riding down a desolate highway at night, being chased by a massive, stop-motion animated winged beast.
NEO LA - “Grave Wave Volume II”
Another entry in the great category of synthwave + Halloween is Grave Wave Volume II, a formidable follow-up to last year’s chilling Volume 1. This compilation pulls together a wide variety of artists who all have the same goal, to scare you to death, but in a stylish, retro way - with plenty of great synth patterns, thumping rhythms, and a smattering of fun horror samples & sounds. Hang your spiderwebs and carve the pumpkin, it’s time for the gouls to come out and play.
FACEXHUGGER - “Sci-Fi Violence”
Although not strictly a Halloween themed release, this jammer by FaceXHugger is the real deal. Plenty of retro sci-fi horror sounds await in this fantastic release. Be frightened by the speed and ferocity of Day Walkers, or the creepy credit sequence formality of Ethos of Betrayal. And let’s not forget to mention this amazing cover art, which I would file, like this album, under ‘best of.’
FICTIONAL GIRLFRIEND - “The Hatred”
Dark vaporwave artist Fictional Girlfriend is at it again with another shadowy journey through a hell dimension. This release features a spooky concoction of disintegrated samples and pulsating rhythms that’ll have you looking around every corner for a jump scare.
FAE & SEFFI - “Origin of Conflict”
(Girly Girl Musik)
This nightmarish descent into darkened regions of purgatory has got all the shadowy ambient overture and twisted synth madness you could hope for. It’s a new dead day dawning on a bleak landscape of horror and despair. Don’t miss it!
Creative dynamo and No Part of It label head, Arvo Zylo is constantly immersing himself in art, writing, and music culture. One of his most outstanding personal projects, 333, is a powerhouse of rhythmic industrial noise that pummels with it’s unending grit, while continuing interest with new emergence of detail around every corner.
After releasing 333, Arvo decided to invite a significant group of sound artists to take the original 333 material and reimagine it. With 33 artists signed on to collab, the project seems to have taken on a life of its own, becoming an entirely different beast than the original piece.
What these other artists were able to bring to the project was their own visions, and their own varied experiences - which temper the material in a unique way. The result is a surprisingly cohesive musical work that has a definitive vibe running throughout, while continually shifting the minute to minute details. There is a lot of experimentation here with noise as an instrument or a musical device, rather than using musical instruments or devices to create noise.
Worth the price of admission just for the titles, be prepared to have your ears gouged by ripping tracks such as the fuzz-infused electro freakout of Pretzel Days at the Stripper Nebula by AODL, Freakish child voice samples and lo-fi beats of One Two Eight Nine Six by Sudden Infant, or the half hour excursion into mechanical leaning drones and the mournful cries of dying organs of ZRMFXL by Bull of Heaven. Those are some highlights from what is a truly overwhelming work. In fact, this ‘REDUX’ release is so far removed from the original material that it stands separate and squarely above it in terms of scope, variation, and sheer vision.
There is a powerful sense of energy and rhythmic urgency in 333REDUX that permeates the entire runtime. I recommend enjoying this release in its entirety, in a listening setting. 333REDUX is available in digital format, or on DVD. The DVD version of this release adds contributors videos to the experience, and are printed on demand at No Part of It.