After romping around Montréal for a couple years, muffed-out guitar-'n'-drums duo Steve Jr was born into recorded history with a self-titled EP that swam out May 11 via Water Records. On the instrumental “Guru,” loud stoner rock buds Corbin Ordel and Gleb Wilson rev up the pace, with Ordel ripping away at the type of growling, incessant riff a fellow paying homage to the Melvins and Sleep with his t-shirts might favor. Meanwhile, Wilson, who also keeps time in Amen Dunes, crashes away at his cymbals as if fending off an onslaught of Dynasty Warriors. An old performance of “Guru” featuring a bleach-blond Ordel in a letterman jacket suggests Steve Jr keeps warm during unforgiving Québec winters by forgoing junior varsity sports to stoke the fires of classic rock worship. We know Steve Sr is proud. Et tu, Buzzo?
Steve Jr is out now on cassette at Water Records.
If AdHoc favorite Mark McGuire made techno music, it would likely sound like to Brett Cimbalik’s I Wish I Could Say The Same. Described by his label, Chambray, as a “multi-instrumentalist... influenced by the future-forward jazz of Herbie Hancock and Bill Laswell,” the New York-based musician clearly approaches techno from an erudite perspective, that of someone who's savvy in a fair share of musical universes. Despite working within the parameters of a rhythm-oriented genre, melody is prominent on Cimbalik's first solo 12", and he confidently borrows from both the space-age rock of Tangerine Dream and the envelope-pushing jazz he so openly admires. The four-on-the-floor beat of Detroit techno is the backbone of Cimbalik's music, acting as the glue which fuses his multifaceted influences and invites you both to move and closely listen.
I Wish I Could Say The Same is out now on Chambray.
Brooklyn's White Suns dropped their third full-length of earth-scorching destruction, Totem, earlier this year-- their first on San Francisco-based experimental metal label, The Flenser. It's a violent blast of noise-rock, alternating between pummeling assaults and slow-burn electronic squalls, the auditory equivalent of what's depicted on the album's cover-- a violent purging of everything vile living deep within your guts. “Clairvoyant” is the perfect distillation of everything that makes White Suns terrifying and awesome: that mixture of metallic heft and electronic soundscapes which characterizes the album's entirety. The accompanying video, directed by Jesse Hlebo, seems to manipulate found-footage, setting the track's loud opening chords with the visual of a literal explosion. This stuff ain't for the timid.
Totem is out now on The Flenser.
The Elephant 6 Recording Collective and Olivia Tremor Control co-founder Will Cullen Hart has a talent for producing seemingly effortless psychedelic pop tracks. Now, Hart is back for all our excitable ears with a new archival release titled Giant Chocolate Think Tank Blues, under the moniker The Always Red Society. This pre-OTC solo project dates back to 1994 and at times is reminiscent of the first Olivia Tremor Control album Music from the Unrealized Film Script, Dusk at Cubist Castle; the track “Can You Come Down With Us?” is, in fact, a tune that would later be reworked for the OTC album. This early version is rendered at a slower tempo and coated with plenty of tape hiss, yet still tuneful-- a special glimpse into the talent of an evolving songwriter.
You can stream "Can You Come Down With Us?" below, and hear the rest of Giant Chocolate Think Tank Blues here. The album is being released on cassette via Hope for the Tape Deck.
"Rest Versus Rust," a new track by Austin minimalist punk outfit Spray Paint, operates as a collage of nuanced layers of uneasiness. The song features a macabre lyrical arc that comes off like a scene in Fargo as filtered through the damaged, dissociative lens of a Faulknerian narrator. Two voices impassively sing from a seemingly singular perspective, upended by bursts of guitar scrapes, tense whirring tones, and a hook that firmly denies us the comfort of a melody. But just because it’s perhaps Spray Paint's darkest song to date, doesn’t mean it forsakes a sense of morbid snark. “You were always such a bitch/back when you could walk/but that’s not why I took a dull axe to your neck,” sing dual frontmen Corey Plump and George Dishner, displaying their sense of black humor, underlined by a barrage of deliberately constructed dissonance.
Their upcoming LP Clean Blood, Regular Acid is out Septmeber 23 on Monofonus Press.
--one of Teklife
’s most prominent affiliates--has gathered unreleased tracks and put them out into the world in the form of Tek Files Vol. 1
. Arriving via Pittsburgh-based cassette label Hoko Sounds
this compilation is the latest throwback grab-bag from the Chicago-based footwork crew founded by the late DJ Rashad. Filled with militant reworks of hip-hop and funk classics by artists ranging from Roy Ayers to Atlantic Starr, it's a turnt-up, tongue-in-cheek trip down memory lane. From the clipped, aggressive clap of “On Da Flo,” to the candy-colored, Jamiroquai croon featured in “Why Can’t,” Tek Files
is heavy on both the 808s and '80s references-- never a bad thing, especially when the nostalgia-inducing snippets got you grooving and Googling simultaneously.
Tek Files Vol. 1 will be released digitally and on casette by Hoko Sounds on August 1. For now, you can stream the album below.
"DIRGE1" is the headstone-textured, controlled-release debut single from Bay Area techno purveyor
and producer, SKANDER. The track comes presumably ahead of his forthcoming double-album which was quietly announced last month by NYC imprint Endangered Species
. This lead cut is one of four versions of "Dirges" that appear on an EP released via L.A. Club Resource
-- a label whose founder (L.I.E.S.
-affiliate Delroy Edwards
) would mesh well on an underground bill with SKANDER. While additional info on the artist may be scarce, the dark, brooding hits of "DIRGE1" leave little mystery to the choice of its title.
is out now on L.A. Club Resource.
Electronic music composer Matthew Young hasn't quite gotten the amount of airplay and journalist-love that many of his contemporaries have, but Drag City's helping that (deservedly) change. The label's new edition, in conjunction with Yoga, of Young's classic 1981 record, Recurring Dreams, is among the weirdest, chillest, and, well, best archival releases of late-- a perplexing collection of primitive, minimalist electronic workouts: mixtures of new wave pop and avant-garde classical, masquerading alternately as new age and the best '80s soundtrack music. In addition to the record, Yoga filmed a nice video, "An Afternoon with Matthew Young," that gives a slight glimpse into how creative and with-it this guy is. He's got a cool house, too.
Recurring Dreams is out now on Drag City. Watch the aforementioned video and stream two of its tracks, via Young's Bandcamp, below.
Nashville-based guitarist William Tyler fingerpicks the blues quite well, but he does lots of other stuff well, too, having backed up Silver Jews and Will Oldham, produced Promised Land Sound's album from last year, and expanded his solo musical pallette to include all sorts of electric as well as acoustic atmospheres that are rooted in but not tied to Americana steel-string fingerpicking. His new tape, Blue Ash Montgomery, demonstrates his variety well, combining live- and studio-recorded pieces, improvised and composed. "Parliament of Skulls" is a sprawling run through Appalachia, containing a fistful of nice folk and blues melodies backed by a low electronic hum, plaintive and beautiful, occasionally descending into distorted, strummed chaos.
Blue Ash Montgomery is out August 7 on Lightning Records, which is run by Seth Olinsky (from Akron/Family and Cy Dune) and is also putting out a new Cy Dune tape and also recently released a killer one from People of the North. Stream those latter two things after the jump.
Earlier this year, the estimable reissue-focused label Light In The Attic dropped a bomb in the form of Lewis's L'amour, a mysterious private-press gem from the '80s by a handsome stockbroker whose music fits in somewhere between Jandek's, Arthur Russell's, and Angelo Badalamenti's. Lewis's story, cryptic as it still is, was that the dude disappeared after making this one bizarre record. However, as we've found out recently, there's a follow-up: Romantic Times, recorded by that same strange man, albeit under the name Lewis Baloue. Anyhow, the original version of this second record is currently on eBay for $1,725 and counting (the auction ends July 27), so if you're feeling fancy, head over there. If you're feeling a little less fancy, Light In The Attic has your back-- they've given Romantic Times a reissue.
Romantic Times is out now digitally, August 26 on CD, and November 18 on LP, all on Light In The Attic.