Monday, April 30, 2012

Ty Segall and White Fence - Hair

In case you don't already know, Ty Segall and White Fence are two great and active psychedelic leaning garage rock acts with some great releases between the both of them. Their collaborative album, Hair was released just days ago on Drag City and it's probably the best thing ever recorded by either project. It leans a little on the strange and drugged-out side compared to past material, and it works extremely well. There are even some great guitar solos on it, which isn't often seen in the world of indie music. Get to know the project by watching Ty Segall and White Fence perform an incredible extended version of album cut "I Am Not A Game" at Room 205 on Youtube and buy the album through their excellent label if you like it.

My Bloody Valentine - "Good For You"

My Bloody Valentine somehow got away with dropping a slew of great material in the late 80s and early 90s, the most notable release being 1991's Loveless, which just so happens to be one of my favorite albums of all time. Tons of label issues, poor financial choices, and a Kevin Shields breakdown ensured that MBV wouldn't make new music for two decades, but they seem to have seriously returned to the recording studio for the first time in a long time. While everyone waits for the long-teased third album by the band, Sony is dropping remastered versions of their back catalog on CD on May 7th. Included in this release is a compilation of the band's early material titled EP's 1988-1991. It compiles most of the non-album tracks ever released by the band, as well as three previously unreleased songs. The first one of these three songs to surface is "Good For You," and it's a great pop tune with all the hallmarks of My Bloody Valentine's awesome early material. Hear the song while reading a pretty great Kevin Shields interview over at Pitchfork.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Avalanches - Sleepy Bedtime Mix for Young Ones

After 12 years of waiting, The Avalanches have finally released new music for it's increasingly frustrated fans. Maybe. Sleepy Bedtime Mix for Young Ones is a mixtape posted under the name "Henry Chinaski" on mixtape sharing site Pinchy & Friends. Rumors abound that this is likely a sneak peek of what new material from The Avalanches will sound like. The mix covers on a lot of dreamy 60s pop and features enough harmonies to make anyone fall into a deep slumber. Whether it is in fact a release by The Avalanches or not, it's an awesome mix that deserves a listen or eight. And hopefully, it does mean that the finally awaited follow-up to Since I Left You is finally on the horizon. Hear it at Pinchy & Friends.

Monday, April 23, 2012

R. Kelly - "Share My Love"

R. Kelly's 2010 album Love Letter had some bad breaks. It came out in December, (a death knell for anything trying to get on a year-end list or two) it was a little all over the place with its homages and instrumental throwbacks, and it wasn't exactly what most R. Kelly fans wanted to hear. However, it was full of a ton of quality music and is definitely underrated in retrospect. Since that album, he's had throat surgery, a lauded comeback string of performances, announced an autobiography, and finally confirmed that new episodes of Trapped in the Closet were in the works. Besides all of that, he has two albums planned for release on the horizon. Black Panties is supposed to be more standard affair, with Kelly saying that it was very similar to his solo debut 12 Play. Write Me Back is the other release, another LP of callbacks to soul, disco, and other urban genres of old. "Share My Love" is the first single to drop from that album, and it's basically a classic-sounding disco song with a few of Kells' lyrical and vocal quirks thrown in. His voice even adopts some 70's sounding tones, and it's awesome. Watch the video at Youtube and try not to burst into tears of joy when Kelly says "Now that we're in this room, let's do what we were born to do / POPULATE, let's get together, POPULATE, make the world better."

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Peaking Lights - "Lo Hi"

936 by dub-pop couple Peaking Lights was one of last year's true gems. Its psychedelic waves were some of the best chillout grooves to come out in the past few years. This year, Peaking Lights is taking square aim at their old album with Lucifer. This LP promises to be bigger and badder, in the best way possible. "Lo Hi" isn't too much of a departure, as all the established tropes of the band are there. A few interesting instrumentation choices (choice woodwinds especially) and a unique guest (the duo's young son makes a vocal contribution) give this one a ton of life, even out of the Lucifer's context. Stream it at the band's Soundcloud for your first taste of the new album. If you still want more, you can check out two mixes the band has put together of new material and influences for Lucifer here.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Shlohmo - "Rained the Whole Time" (Nicolas Jaar Remix)

Some of the best electronic work to come out recently has been from the type of producers that like to color outside of the lines. Two of these producers happen to be Shlohmo, the glitchy hip-hop wunderkid, and Nicolas Jaar, minimal techno mastermind behind last year's excellent Space Is Only Noise. They seem like a pretty good match on paper, and the execution is even better. This remix is sprawling, deep, and pretty entrancing. Perfect listen right before the sun goes down. Watch the newly released video for it at Vimeo and make sure to check out the release that this remix is included on, Shlohmo's Vacation EP.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Actress - "Marble Plexus"

Darren Cunningham, who tends to record under the name Actress, already has a solid self-titled debut and 2010's insanely good Splazsh under his belt. Splazsh was a... well, splash of Detroit 2-step and techno that changed up so much from track to track that no one could describe it using less than three vague genres. It was, in many ways, the under-appreciated younger brother of Flying Lotus' Cosmogramma. Actress found his stride, and it lied in a haze of fuzzy beats, primitive computer sounds, and vast shifts from song to song. R.I.P. will likely continue down that unpredictable path, as Actress looks to further the mission of London dance music innovators. Hear new song "Marble Plexus"  at Soundcloud.

Electric Wizard - Legalise Drugs & Murder

Electric Wizard is often cited as one of the greatest stoner/doom metal bands of all time, and rightfully so. Come My Fanatics was a landmark in doom metal lore, setting a new standard for just how heavy and album can be. 2000's Dopethrone took that formula a step further, and is one of the greatest metal albums of all time, so everything Electric Wizard has released after that has been scrutinized a little too much for not being groundbreaking. Witchcult Today and Black Masses, released in 2007 and 2010, respectively, stand as truly excellent stoner metal releases, and their upcoming eighth album is poised to expand the group's persona even more with a new lineup and tour also in place for 2012. This 7 inch single is the first preview of this new lineup, as well as the new material set to come out of the project. Listen to the title track here and listen to Dopethrone if you're that behind on one of the best metal bands of all time.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

jj - "Beautiful Life"

Swedish duo jj have always managed to seem like the coolest kids in music no matter what they sound like. They've managed to cover songs like The Game's "My Life" and Taio Cruz's "Dynamite" without resorting to cheese and irony to make them listenable. They titled songs things like "my life, my swag" back in 2009 on their first single. We haven't heard from them since 2010, a year in which they released their solid album jj n° 3 as well as the incredible and overlooked Kills mixtape. This year, they plan to drop the next release in their awkwardly named series, a single titled jj n° 3 that features this sunny and joyful acid trip called "Beautiful Life." Hear the track at Pitchfork and remember to keep tabs on the coolest uncool band in music.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


BADBADNOTGOOD has slowly but surely clawed their way into the hearts of hip-hop and jazz fans everywhere with their unique covers, energetic live shows, and awesomely chill and original music. Today, they've released BBNG2, the heavily anticipated sequel to last year's jaw-dropping BBNG. That album has more than a few surprises, especially the sprawling medley of music from The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time. BBNG2 is similarly surprising, particularly in the closing track, a frantic cover of My Bloody Valentine's "You Made Me Realise." The other covers touch on staples that fans of BADBADNOTGOOD should be familiar with like OFWGKTA, James Blake, and Kanye West. Those are awesome, but the original music shines here more than ever before. "Vices" and "Rotten Decay" are particularly great and seem fitting alongside the crowd-pleasing covers of popular material. Download BBNG2 for free at their website and be on the lookout for these guys if they ever tour within a couple hundred miles of you.