FRKWYS, RVNG Intl.'s series of album-length collaborations usually between an older artist and a younger artist, has batted right around 1.000 throughout its seven-year run. The latest installment in the series continues the streak, linking up two Californian synth geniuses—contemporary phenom Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith and Suzanne Ciani, an electronic music pioneer with decades of powerful work ranging from maximalist space disco to gorgeous new age. The result, Sunergy, tends toward the latter of those two strains, with both artists meditating on Buchla synthesizers; the album features two lengthy modular improvisations, the second of which, "Closed Circuit," is excerpted and placed atop a video of waves below. Though as minimal as one might expect, both pieces project a thrilling dynamism thanks to the bright melodies for which Ciani is known as well as the percussive blasts that appear so often on Smith's LP from earlier this year, EARS.
serpentwithfeet is the chosen moniker of Baltimore native Josiah Wise, who has has a hand in numerous musical and visual projects in New York's underground art scene in the past few years. Now, with the help from London-based producer The Haxan Cloak, the 27-year-old singer-songwriter shares his debut single via Tri Angle Records, "Flickering." Seamlessly interlocking R&B and classical elements, Wise creates an intimate space through sound reminiscent of UK singer Sampha as he layers hollow piano chords, vibrating bass and shimmering synth work. The track reveals itself as a desperate plea for connection as Wise repeatedly trembles,"I offer myself to you."
A project formed in the mid-'80s by Tori Kudo and Reiko Kudo in Japan, Maher Shalal Hash Baz has evolved and gone through a number of transformations with a consistently rotating cast of band members. Hello, New York, the group's first release since 2009, was created while the band was visiting New York City for a 30th anniversary performance in September 2014: OSR label founder Zach Phillips brought members of the band and an assortment of other musicians together to record during their stay. Hello, New Yorkis a wild melding of musical energy. Short interludes stitch together songs and blissfully passionate jam sessions. The ecstatic nature of playing music bleeds through these recordings; they exist as a document and also a carrier of feeling—a richly layered sonic experience.
While living off of meager meals and huddling together for warmth during a brutal winter, Brooklyn vets The So So Glos put together what little resources they had to build Market Hotel. They return to their beloved spot this Saturday with Big Ups, Honduras and Bueno and will be running a #FeedTheStreet food drive for local nonprofit, City Harvest. Be sure to bring canned food to donate at the show!
The band shared some memories with AdHoc as well as photos and music from the archives of their time at Market.
I remember living off dollar rice from the Chinese food store across the street and huddling together without heat or a shower in the dead of winter. We built a loft and laid 7 mattresses on top of a construction site and slept like that for a few months (before building walls). Setting up the market was rough & it was hard work, but the payoff has been well worth it. The original vision- an all inclusive, enormous community show space whose walls were seeping with nyc history. I'm glad to see it make a comeback while staying true to the original vision. I'm also grateful to be playing again- this time should be less work, more fun. - Alex Levine
I remember our first time walking up the stairs on the Broadway side with the landlord. It was me, Alex, Zach, and Joe Ahern. We hit the top landing and the landlord turned the lights on from the electrical box and we saw the triangle shape for the first time and a train went by and [it] felt like we had found our own ninja turtles hangout and knew this spot was the Market Hotel. - Ryan Levine
Check out their song named after the venue recorded back in '07 in Oakland, half a year before they officially founded it in March 2008.
Though associated with the Australian “dolewave” scene, a joke genre descriptor for artists like Dick Diver or Courtney Barnett that offer jangly guitars and relaxed melodies, Beef Jerk add a bit of jazz influence to the mix. While the band obviously benefits from serious pop songwriting chops, on “Soup of the Onion,” Millie Hall’s saxophone makes a welcome guest appearance, fluttering into the tail end of the track’s one-minute-and-change. Rather than overpower the song’s strong hook and gentle rhythm, Hall provides a flash of flavor, foregrounding Beef Jerk’s comical slice-of-life lyrics, relaying quick nothings of smoking, talking about girls, partying, and working at the fishery. I mean... its title is an ode to onion soup. What did you expect?
The recent massacre in Orlando was the most extreme use of violence against the L.G.B.T. community in U.S. history. Lashing out at a culture where L.G.B.T. people are more likely to be targets of hate crimes than any other minority group, the Olympia-based hardcore band G.L.O.S.S. have released Trans Day Of Revenge, their first new music since last January's debut demo. While the EP as a whole confronts a diverse range of issues (intersectional privilege, institutional violence, L.G.B.T. homelessness), the record's timing gives a voice to those who are fed up with a culture of fear and violence and disgusted by this country's failure to protect the rights of its citizens.
"We live / for nights like this / basements packed with burning kids / we scream / just to make sense of things / studs and leather / survivors' wings"
Jerry Paper is the internet experience brought to life by mastermind Lucas W. Nathan, who leans into charming absurdity under a genre he describes on his Bandcamp page as "11th dimension pop." Blending MIDI sounds with catchy keyboard hooks, the L.A.-based songwriter has been creating heartwarming, outlandish pop for years, and has garnered an abounding online fan base in the process.
Nathan dives into the further reaches of the realm of eccentricity with his latest record Toon Time Raw! and doesn't look back. Deviating from his more electronically centered pop with the help of BadBadNotGood, he grounds us in a kaleidoscopic, jazzy dissonance as he layers dozy keyboard over warm saxophone and roots songs in bossa nova rhythm (most notably in "Elastic Last Act"). Although the record seems to paint the primary colors of a simple, whimsical comic book, Nathan lyrically delves into heavier, complex existential issues. Toon Time Raw! is a strange and beautiful anomaly that requires an attentive ear and more than just one listen.
As to be expected from a Hunter Hunt-Hendrix project, Kel Valhaal has lofty aims. In an explanatory statement, the artist alludes to Transcendental Qabala, Gesamtkunstwerk, a modern reworking of Perichoresis, and a multitude of artistic media and genres. It can sound heavy-handed, like basically every philosophy even peripherally influenced by The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, but realistically most of these terms are concerned with a dialectic synthesis or connection to something bigger—something Hunt-Hendrix calls divine. On “Tense Stage (Edit),” Hunter pairs his double-tongued, spiritually-infused lyricism with electronic music and hip-hop. In the accompanying video, directed by Japanese animator supreme Aujik, the music provides backdrop to a hallucinatory channeling of infinity, from the smallest denominator—appearing as a tardigrade—to the majestic, unknowable cosmos. It’s jaw-dropping visually, but moreover gives welcome perspective to our limited view of the unlimited.
"Tense Stage" comes from Kel Valhaal's debut LP, New Introductory Lectures on the System of Transcendental Qabala, is out July 15 on YLYLCYN. Pre-order it now.
This article, written by Downtown Boys lead singer Victoria Ruiz in conversation with Emilie Friedlander, was initially published in AdHoc Issue 12. Pick up a copy of the zine for free at AdHoc shows and small businesses around Brooklyn. You can also order a copy here and download a PDF here. Downtown Boys play Market Hotel with Pill, Wall, and Ratas en Zelo on Friday, June 24.
Now that we live in a post-Lemonade society, it’s time to contend with certain pre-Lemonade attitudes. Consider, for example, David Turner’s March 14 article for MTV News, “Is Indie Rock Over the White Male Voice?” In the essay, Turner writes that rock has stagnated as the province of politically apathetic white men. Lemonade or no lemonade, this type of rhetoric completely erases entire chapters of rock history. Construing the genre’s evolution as a straight line from Elvis to the Beatles to the Sex Pistols—all the way to contemporary indie acts like Vampire Weekend and Porches—pushes many of the genre’s greatest innovators to the margins.
There has never been a time when rock did not work off the backs of people of color, particularly Black and African-American people, from its roots in the delta blues to its cross-fertilization with reggae in the ’70s. Moreover, rock has never worked without the fronts of people of color, from Jimi Hendrix to H.R of Bad Brains and beyond. Every time some genuinely compares me to Poly Styrene—the half-Somali, half-Irish frontwoman of X-Ray Spex—I say, “Thank you, that is an honor.” Even though our bands are quite different—and I could easily go on some diatribe about why Downtown Boys is not X-Ray Spex—that comparison is so much better than when people think that I am the only person of color playing in a punk or rock band and singing or saying the things that I am. Part of the problem is probably that we confuse thoughts that people have about music with the facts.
After self-releasing a reworking of avant-jazz legend Rahsaan Roland Kirk's tune "Volunteered Slavery" in February, INGA quickly followed up with an equally esoteric, seven-minute long single "Infinity" for their Terrible Records debut. Lead by L.A.-based multi-instrumentalist Sam Gendel, INGA (which means "nothing" in Swedish) is a project of revolving musicians focused on exploring Gendel's fascination with expressing what lies beyond the semantic parameters of a song. Produced by Terrible Records co-founder and Grizzly Bear member Chris Taylor, the track pits Gendel's dadaist lyrics over a smooth, kinetic Jazz instrumental. The track then moves to half time, unhurriedly riffing on a tempered groove while ambient dialogue washes across the channels.