Friday, March 4, 2011

Wires Under Tension - Light Science

Trust that this is good. That it sounds like a train full of awesome live drums hit an elctronic dragon spewing samples as a violin careens in and out of the ensuing mayhem. So yea what you were going to say. Also as a side note why doesn't all electronic music use live drums? I mean why wouldn't you? Cant play to a click track brah?  Wires Under Tension do it exactly how it should always be done.

Light Science

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Time Out to Touch Myself

Hey, so something our anonymous readers might not know about the folks writing on this blog is that we all happen to be musicians, and at one point we were all playing in the same half-assed math rock group. Or whatever it was. These days were all still creating in our own little ways, and since I was rummaging through some old tracks, I figured I'd share some things.

Chikai MIrai by Carved in Clouds

This was an early little beat-making experiment done in Garageband, before I moved on to working with Reason. Garageband has/had a surprisingly decent sound library.

Ain't Afraid by Carved in Clouds

This is song by a good friend of Ninko and myself that I recorded a couple summers ago. We had a lot of fine trying to bite some Television vibes, sweating in a tiny little room cutting vocal tracks with some cold beer. Fully recorded in under 4 hours.

Before The Verdict (Halfpint Remix) by Carved in Clouds

A remix I did following some guidelines from a Stones Throw contest that I never submitted to. It's a bit sludgy because I wanted it to sound like it was playing from a shitty tape cassette and you were drunk as fuck.

Dribble castle by Carved in Clouds

This is a track by my good friend by the title of Tudy Udis (2D OODIS). I found it in an e-mail saying it was for an animation about a Ninja, or a Thai girl, or a flower during sunset. His e-mails were always really cryptic, so it's for one of those things. He was a MAX/MSP dude.

Geophysical Nosebleed by Carved in Clouds

Was supposed to be an interlude for whatever wanted it.

The Advantage

Does nostalgia taint our view of everything? Is nintendo music only good because we grew up playing the games in our youth? By extension is The Advantage (a nintendo cover band) a good group if youve never heard these songs? Yes, No and No. There are many groups who do this same shtick HOWEVER it is in the song choice and musicianship that place them at the top of the heap. Instead of the same tired Zelda or Mario renditions you get Marble Madness, Batman, Festers Quest, Ducktails ect. Lesser known titles with kick-ass soundtracks. It is in this that you realize that they have a true love for the games they play. Also it helps when youve got Spencer Seim of Hella on drums, Carson Mcwhirter and Robby Moncrieff (two major players in the math scene.) they know there way around the guitar.

Underwear so Big! (tour only ep)


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Drumcorps - Grist (2006)

I can best describe this as a musical tightrope. At this level of cross polination between the two genre's of hardcore and electronic music there is very little that you can truly say both share. Aaron Spectre however does just this with  a forceful air of confidence and an ear for a great hardcore scream. If we are being honest though this is electronic music at its heart with the trimmings of a hardcore punk group guesting. Don't misunderstand me though there are portions that do rock boxes but the electronic elements added sometimes feel too tacked on. I highly suggest anyone who is a fan of either to check it out. Its good stuff and nothing stays for too long if you have a problem with a riff.

Grist (2006)

The Sea and Cake - Oui

If you want listen to the musical equivalent of french toast in bed on a snow day well here's your chance.  Made up of some extremely talented individuals this is by no means a pissing contest. The Sea and Cake are very chilled and more into drawing the mood of a piece out. Its only weakness for me would be that occasionally a song will outstay its welcome on a riff. This is some excellent night driving music and always makes me feel right at home. Featuring drum machine and live drums, crud loads of synths and Archer Prewitt's signature wispy vocals.  John McEntire (multi-instrumentalist of Tortoise) plays drums strictly here. And while they also share geographic location with Tortoise we are also treated to that amazing vibraphone we all know and love from them.   


Zazen Boys

Osh-kosh-b-gosh, it's the Zazen Boys!

One of the many projects of illustrious Japanese indie-rock hero, Mukai Shutoku (lower-left in photo), former leader of Number Girl, Zazen Boys play a rapidly mutating synthesis of rock, funk, club, sleaze, butchered blues whateverthefuck. Their initial releases were pretty much an extension of Mukai's earlier work, only this time sprinkled with bizarre spoken word "raps" focused on a slight perversion of a common Buddhist chant:
kurikaesareru shougyou mujyou / yomigaeru seiteki shoudou
My Japanese is too rusty to really remember what the fuck that means, so google it bro. Anyway, as time went on, the original rhythm section (who had also been in Number Girl) splintered off to do their own thing, so Mukai brought in two dudes who are all about looking stoic and grooving like two dudes programmed to beat you at whatever you think you can do best. Their music often has this illusion of "eh, whatever, I heard this before", but it's played with such intense synchronicity and general aggression that your guts seize up and you just go WHAT THE FUCK! (COLD BEAT)

Zazen Boys Greatest Hits Vol. 1 (Curated by metaghost) - Greatness

The Budos Band

If you were looking for something to have in the background during your top secret ninja training sessions, look no further. The Budos Band are instrumental afrobeat funk, down and dirty and sounding straight out of the 70's. Unlike Fela Kuti and many bands inspired by him, Budos Band keeps their ill shit simple and to the point. Not much dilly dallying here, no 18 minute epics. Just succinct 3-4 minute tracks with a nasty rhythm section, tight horns and style to spare.

The Budos Band - Black Venom by a pagan place

These guys have been around. They played on Amy Winehouses debut album, the one she put out before she went all Charlie Sheen and starting snorting that tiger blood; they back up various bands for the label they are on, Daptone, including the wonderful Sharon Jones; and they have a side project with some horns from other bands on Daptone and together call themselves the Menahan Street Band. All sick stuff.

Heres a nice relaxed Menahan Street Band track for ya.

Budos Band I

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Faraquet - The View from This Tower

For such limited material Faraquet has left a lasting stamp on the state of math-rock even today. Active in the late 90's most of the members are now a part of the band Medications. "The View from This Tower" remains a staple in any math-heads go to albums. Certainly not a bullet proof release by any means its strength lies in the mix of excellent vocals with razor sharp rhythms. 

The View from This Tower

Monday, February 28, 2011

Dysrhythmia - Barrier and Passages

This album (and group) is straight sauce amazing. Another lovely group featuring Colin Marston on the Ginormous Warr guitar. Lets not forget to mention one of my favorite drummers as well Jeff Eber who lends his jazz influenced chops to the mix.  Alt-math rock doesn't get any better truly. Also strangely melodic as well. When this album came out it was joked that Dysrhythmia had written the album that Don Caballeo failed to write that year. Even though they did release an album that year....on the same label...ouch. Truly just so many great moments

Barriers and Passages

metaghostin' Vol. 3 - Always Late, Then Never

Always Late, Then Never - 57:40
So this mix is supposed to serve as counterpoint to a previous mix I posted on my other blog (Sold at the Sign of a Gun) that was dedicated to idea of the terrible break-up. Here we have a tale of enduring love, whether that's a love of God, love of Adventure, or just your everyday love, one that might move away and then return on a rainy day. Hopefully it brings some better vibes than the last one.

1. "Acknowledgment" - John Coltrane / A Love Supreme (1964)

Da-dum da-dum / da-dum da-dum

This record is responsible for really changing my perspective on Jazz music, the first time I really had my soul moved, instead of just passively boppin' along. And it's not just one master blowing his sax, that whole crew was buckwild, and even today I'd say McCoy Tyner defines what I consider to be the sound of "Jazz" chord, that sound of P4 triads.

2. "Hardwood Floors" - Facing New York / Get Hot (2008)

This record is one of these things that straddles so many intersections of styles without really committing to a tangible style, resulting in what is definitely a "grower", chock full of hooks and grooves and dope subtleties and random little one-liners. All of us here at Plenty of Swords are heavy into the whole steez of Eric Frederic, aka Wallpaper, so it should be no surprise to see us talk about FNY etc....

3. "P.Y.T." - Michael Jackson / Thriller ( 1982)

I know lawyers gonna jack this mix because of this track, so fuck yo face up and get it while you can.

4. "Warpaint" - Gavin Castleton / Home (2008)

I talked about dude's band GrĂ¼vis Malt in a previous mix, so I'mma try to keep this brief. Guy is so nasty that he can make crazy prog-pop records full of retarded zombie metaphors that are still ridiculous touching in a "yo, this is some true emotion I'm feeling but I thought I was a robot whaddupwitdat?" and then you hear his songs in a mall and it doesn't even confuse you even though it should.

5. "Wayfarer" - Kayo Dot / Choirs of the Eye (2003)

Beautiful wandering sounds.

6. "Everything Must Go" - Foreign Exchange / Authenticity (2010)

The title track of this album is what inspired the initial break-up mix, as I just couldn't figure out how to fit it into any other style of mix. Though this track isn't especially indicative of the content of that record, it functions similarly within the context of the album and this mix, as palate-cleanser, slight pop-number, and emotional reset button.

7. "Ariel" - Stateless / Matilda (2011)

I was telling acerola about how addicted I was to this recent release, so I figure I should sneak a track in somewhere. I first heard of the band because some work they did with the previously mentioned Gavin Castleton. At the time, I didn't really think much of them, as that very British bippity-bop electro-pop type stuff indebted to Portishead or whoever just isn't what I was feeling and still don't. But here they've beefed up their sound, embracing all this super low-end club-fuzz and glitchy crackle and other production tweakage, while keeping things packaged into very concise pop structures highlighted by great vocals. Apparently they worked with a Bjork-affiliated producer, and it definitely has an aura of Vespertine to it.

8. "Watching You Watching Me" - Kate Bush / Hounds of Love (1985)

Sometimes this song is unspeakably creepy.

9. "Creature Fear / Team" - Bon Iver / For Emma, Forever Ago (2007)

Mumble mumble mumble.

10. "Lover, You Should Have Come Over" - Jeff Buckley / Grace (1994)

One of the best love songs ever.

11. "Cicada Sing the Galaxy" - Natsumen (2005)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Macha - See It Another Way

90's indie rock that tends to get lumped into the slowcore camp with arguably the kings of the genre Bedhead due to a wonderful split between the two.  Athens Georgia's own Macha however hold an exciting "one up"  over bands of the time using a lot of Gamelan instruments to blanket their searing indie rock. Thats right a junk load of drums, nipple gongs, bamboo flutes and my personal favorite the dulcimer, give Macha a stand out style that I can not say I've ever heard done before.  While later albums would find Macha shifting the balance of their music (even incorporating dance elements) it still works. See it Another Way I believe to be an excellent start to an often over looked band.

See it Another Way