Thursday, September 22, 2011

Giraffes? Giraffes! - Pink Magick (2011)

Its here, and its a ripper! The new album from Giraffes? Giraffes! is out - their first studio effort since 2007.

I've been eagerly awaiting this disc for a long time. G?G! is one of my favorite bands of all time. Their stuff is super complex and mathy, but the melodies are what really sets them apart. They're not super obvious - they have some depth which requires a few listens to really dig into.

They seemed to take this a step further with Pink Magick. They get a little noisier and more aggressive than previous releases. While at first there are no "hit singles" that really pop out at you, after a few listens the rich complexity and depth is really apparent.

G?G! have also taken a more aggressive approach to production, using overdubs, looping, effects, and EQ to their advantage. There are shouts and bells and whistles all over the record.

While this record may not contain any iconic individual works, it is more consistent than their previous releases. More notes are played, making this record more subtle, if that even makes sense!

Pink Magick is available on Bandcamp.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

James Blackshaw - Holly EP

Heir apparent to the golden twelve string altar that houses such greats (Leo Kottke and John Fahey among others) is James Blackshaw. Just like his predecessors Blackshaw doesn't rely so much on ridiculous guitar runs and other such indulgent trappings that a lot of the newer "finger-style" artists fall into but rather its all about the preservation and mood of the piece. Don't get me wrong it's clear that he is a highly skilled player but its in that restraint that lies a mature musician capable of knowing when is right and when is wrong. All of his releases are great each with their own set of high's and lows. The "Holly EP" is a great two song entry into his work and in my opinion some of his best yet. Can't imagine any human beings being immune to such beautiful guitar pieces but then again people listen to ICP as well so there's that I suppose.

Holly EP

Monday, September 19, 2011

Stateless- Matilda

I will keep this brief because honestly, i do not know enough about these guys to go into any certain detail besides having a vague understanding of the group for about half a year. Metaghost mentioned them to me, having heard of them from either Gav Castleton or Wallpaper (i think), and showed me a few tunes after he had given the album a thorough listening-to himself. His recent mixes have included Stateless tracks, and after seeing yet another song of theirs among the tracks of his latest mix, it finally hit me to put down some dollars on the iTunes stores and pick up Matilda, their 2011 release. I have only heard it through once, but what has struck me is how coherent it is as a whole. It flows really well, which is something i have appreciated after digesting Dark Side of the Moon, bombed out and alone in a dark room, as a teenager. My favorite artists usually share that trait, and I always love finding a new album that flows as though not only did deep thought go into each song, but also how they relate to and blend into the others.

Ariel is track 2 off Matilda. Its spanish intro guitar lick, and the electronics that enter and sustain after the first chorus lay a nice foreground to the sparse, glitchy drums and dreamy music box ambient synths. And mentioning dudemans voice is not necessary; he carries the album with great melodies and the harmonies to back them up. Check it:

You can pick up Matilda here at the ninja tune website, or pick it up on the iTunes store.