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ZRL "Daylight Savings"

ZRL have released the opening track, "Daylight Savings", from their forthcoming debut full-length album, Our Savings, which is set to be released on July 30th via American Dreams.

This is the trio of Zachary Good (clarinets, recorders), Lia Kohl (cello), and Ryan Packard (percussion).

The single is accompanied by the Mikel Patrick Avery directed video below.

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Chord "Fm"

Ambient music group Chord has released a new song called "Fm" from their forthcoming album, Imperfect Authentic Cadence, which is due out on June 4th via Debacle Records. This is the first new music from the group since 2013's GMaj7.

This is the work of Kyle Benjamin, Phil Dole, Jason Hoffman, Sean McCarthy, and Trevor Shelley de Brauw.

"Fm" is the closing track of the three song journey that explores the most fundamental chord progressions in Western music. The album presents a cadence, which is a sequence of chords that brings finality and resolution to a musical phrase, that is intentionally left imperfect, hence the album's title.

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Writhing Squares have a Chart For The Solution

Imagine if Electric Mayhem sax man Floyd Pepper and bandmate/electric bassist Zoot took a break from Jim Henson's house band and got a hold of some vintage drum machines and synths and an array of effects pedals and then fed their heads full of James Chance and the Contortions, Steve and Andy Mackay (no relation), the Sun Ra Arkestra, Kraftwerk, Lemmy-era Hawkwind, and The Comet Is Coming when it comes to their contemporaries, and then moved to South Philly to add more layers of grit and vigor to their sound and you’d probably end up with something like Writhing Squares and something like their third and latest LP Chart For The Solution.

In reality, Writhing Squares is comprised of Kevin Nickles and Daniel Provenzano who in addition to their respective sax and bass duties both play synths and contribute vocals, with Daniel pulling extra duty on percussion and programming, and Kevin filling in some flute and oboe parts. Chart For The Solution came out a couple months ago and it's been in my rotation ever since so I can vouch for the album's durability and its high quotient of electric mayhem.



The first track is called “Rogue Moon” and it picks up in a way from where the last track of their previous album left off, namely “A Whole New Jupiter” which took up the last 19 minutes of 2019’s Out of the Ether--a heavy psych rewrite of A Love Supreme transformed into triple time and with rhapsodic skronk saxophone played over overdriven bass it all comes off something like a No Wave Coltrane. 

Likewise, “Rogue Moon” rides a loping riff into the psychedelic sunset except here the foundation is a burbling analog synth arpeggiation with NEU!ish interlocking rhythms that shift the downbeat around in your head and then right in the middle the song turns itself inside out and stays that way for the rest of its eleven-minute duration--a dreamy coda that's like the soft underbelly to the first half's gleaming steel exterior.

Aside from any overlaps, Chart For The Solution stakes out new terrain for the Squares with a newly cinematic production on some of the tracks and ever more adventurous playing and arrangements. But it never veers too far from their lo-fi ethos roots either--whether in the swirling sonic vortex of “Geisterwaltz” or the post-punky surf rock party of “Ganymede” or the back masked ambient interlude of “A Chorus of Electrons” or the Stooge-worthy rave-up of “NFU.” It all culminates in the 18-minute headtrip “The Pillars” which begins by sounding like a UFO landing and then turns into a bleep-bloopy coldwave number with Alan Vega verbal outbursts before taking a turn in the final part with the duo seemingly inhabited by the ghost of Lou Reed trying to get out of another record contract.

In the end it all speaks to the band's enigmatic name, a name suggesting the cohabitation of opposite forces, such as rigid geometric “squares” that can somehow kinesthetically “writhe” because on one side you’re got regimentation and repetition and on the other side looseness and grooviness.  It's a dynamic heard in the Writhing Squares' conjoining of trance-like repetition and wild sonic freeness, punk and prog in equal measure, maxed-out minimalistic music for the select masses. (Jason Lee)





On “SITUATIONS,” Paris Texas Meld Hip Hop & Synthpop Sensibilities

Photo Credit - Jimmy Bui

Compton, South Los Angeles multi-disciplinary creative outfit Paris Texas (the team of Louie Pastel and Felix) have released their debut project, BOY ANONYMOUS. Across the project’s 8 self-produced tracks, the duo span an impressive range of genres and textures, and a particular standout is the single “SITUATIONS.”

The, tense but nimble track is a spare, minimal blend of icy late 70s/early 80s UK synthpop with “slice of life” hip-hop lyricism. The sonic landscape is populated with warm, rounded synth bass, distantly-reverbed vocals, and a jaded chorus repeating the phrase “hey now / these situations / hey now / just keep your patience,” while lines like “leave the house for all the dreams I had to chase,” and “couldn’t stay behind ‘cause shit would stay the same” hint at a desperate desire to escape a dire domestic situation to stake a claim at some sort of autonomy, whether creative or otherwise. And all the while a nervous, insistent synth organ phrase repeats throughout, restlessly peaking over the fence at the rest of proceedings.

The sense of anxiety mixed with fatigue is palpable, but the off-hand style and catchiness of the track keeps things from growing stale. Gabe Hernandez

 





Elektra Monet examines Transience on new EP

Elektra Monet isn’t just another Juilliard-trained viola and violin player from Texas who performs the occasional DJ set at Burning Man because yes she is one of those but one who also creates original electronically generated pieces combining 4AD/This Mortal Coil style avant/ambient floatiness with modern glitch beats and the kind of wraithlike female vocals favored by the likes of David Lynch and Serge Gainsbourg among other inspirations and influences.

You can listen to her latest full-length release titled Angels of Sweat from late 2020 below if you doubt me (recommended tracks: “Love is a Diamond Lie,” “In A State,” “Trash Humper,” “1995”) or better yet the new album-teasing EP released just today called Transience on which Ms. Monet steers her ship into more Tangerine Dreamy waters. And there's truly some transience happening on Transience what with the brighter, sharper synth timbres and mind-melding arpeggiations that may possibly have some of us fantasizing about riding a real train with Tom Cruise or Rebecca De Mornay or both or is that just me.

The one caveat that may exist for some fans is the lack of vocals on the three tracks because of Elektra’s especially spectral voice but then again singing may have somewhat broken the “Late Night Tales” spell cast so perfectly by the EP. And anyway you can check out some recent vocalizing by Elektra on two tracks where she's featured as lead vocalist on Jeremy Bastard’s Everyone Is History, There Is No Memory from earlier this year, reviewed on the DELI blog not long ago, where she adapts the crystalline hushed high-register school of female vocalizing and stirs a little grit into the mix.

And hey wouldn’t you know it, Elektra and Jeremy are labelmates on Somewherecold Records based out of Shelbyville, Kentucky, and while he’s clearly no Dyna Girl they do make seem to make a good musical team, especially since they both record for a label specializing in all thing slowcore, gothic, shoegazy, darkwavey, post-rocky, and ambient-but-not-New-Agey. (Jason Lee)

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