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Electronic





Electronic

Time: 
21:00
Band name: 
Blak Emoji
FULL Artist Facebook address (http://...): 
http://facebook.com/blakemoji
Venue name: 
City Winery
Band email: 
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RXM Reality "Grip of Evil"

RXM Reality has released the first single, "Grip of Evil", from his forthcoming album, Advent, which is due to be released on June 25th via Orange Milk.

This is the experimental electronic sounds of Mike Meegan, and this album will mark his debut on this label.

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FRESH CUTS: With “12:55 PM” Celia Hollander Plays With Time And Wins

Photo courtesy of the artist

LA-based electro-acoustic composer Celia Hollander has released “12:55 PM a track from her upcoming album, entitled Timekeeper, out July 23rd on eclectic local label Leaving Records.

Hollander, with an MFA in Music Composition & Experimental Sound Practices from Cal Arts, describes her output as “…work that critically engages ways that audio and the act of listening can shape temporal perception, generate narratives, question cultural infrastructures, and cultivate social connection.” For us, it’s the audio shaping temporal perception part that draws our attention to “12:55 PM.”

The instrumental track begins with a clock-like shuffle rhythm, the sound of which is reminiscent of the electronic fizz of retro drum machines, before helium-tinged synth stabs begin bubbling up in the mix. Occasionally, tasty drippings of silicone-coated synth bass add some welcome low-end thickness to the soundscape.

On the whole, the track presents a vaguely tropical vibe, but not so much that you feel like serving up mai tais. “12:55 PM” fades in and out like an ocean breeze, but it’s also a chilled, yet caffeinated sonic landscape that entices you to dance, but could just as easily soundtrack your next dose of edibles. Hollander clearly has a way with manipulating a listener’s perception of time. The other tracks on Timekeeper are all titled after very specific times of day. What we can say with confidence is that we’re looking forward to losing some more precious minutes and hours in her delicate, enticing aural playground. Gabe Hernandez





Drakkar Noir/Heidi Sabertooth seduce you to The Sleep of Reason

The music heard on The Sleep of Reason, a split EP by the DJ/producer/multi-instrumentslist team of Heidi Sabertooth and R Gamble a/k/a “Drakkar Noir” released on Chicago’s Jacktone Records, is both primordial and futuristic—the sound of electronic circuits climbing out of the primordial ooze and becoming self-aware—which seemingly fits perfect for these two artists one of whom is named for a family of prehistoric predators, and the other named after the most primordial cologne of the ‘80s and ‘90s.

These eight tracks of old-school-inspired electro, industrial, acid, and EBM (electronic body music) are raw and spontaneous sounding—qualities that many wouldn’t associate with electronic music—due in no small part to the use of standalone electronic hardware, machines that the user manipulates in real time and which were recorded live here for the most part so that a certain level of improvisation works its way into things. Much like more conventional instruments, these types of electronic instruments don’t always behave as expected or as intended, meaning that it takes skilled and sensitive musicians to improvise around unexpected sonic detours and that’s a big part of what makes this method of music making and this EP compelling.

What also makes Sleep of Reason compelling are the songs themselves—built on minimalistic yet ever-morphing grooves that burrow under your skin and into your grey matter with the insistance of a funky flea circus passing through town. And that’s not even to mention the glitched-out, paranoid android vocals heard in various sonic forms from track to track whispering intimate-yet-oft-indesipherable sweet creepy nothings into your earholes.

 

Elsewhere Ms. Sabertooth has described her four tracks as “a channeling of angst and disenchantment about relationships, technology, and expectations of the modern femme.” And you can can hear the pure, uncut intensity of this angst and disenchantment on, say, “It Says You Read It” that with its clattering beatbox percussion and squelchy sine waves pretty much sounds like a Peaches song on Promethazine; or on “I’m Gaining Weight Again” that with its spiraling and increasingly distorted doomy sonic vortex is something like an obsessive shame spiral rendered in sound.

Drakkar Noir’s four songs mine somewhat similar territory but with significant differences as well—mining slightly more insistent beats and a stronger acid influence, all appropeiate to his nom de parfume alter-ego—like on side-opener “Free Delight” which makes the very notion of free delight sound both enticing and slightly uneasy as if you just know all that free delight is gonna come back to bite you somehow.  Or the next track “Shadow Reel” which is kind of like “Planet Rock” if the planet in question were Jupiter with its cold, windy clouds of ammonia.

Which all fits well with the loose overarching concept and titular inspiration for the EP which is 18th-century Spanish painter/printmaker/iconoclast Francisco Goya’s famous etching entitled The Sleep of Reason Produced Monsters (well it’s famous if you’re an art historian at least) which depicts an artist passed out at his drawing desk surrounded by a sepulchral swarm of bats and owls, with a caption reading: “Imagination abandoned by reason produces impossible monsters; united with her, she is the mother of the arts and source of their wonders". Truer words, etc. etc.

And hey if you’re feeling these retro-futurist electro bats and owls vibes then be sure to keep an ear out for Gamble & Sabertooth’s live DJs sets on Brooklyn’s very own The Lot Radio. And if you’re the greater NYC metro area region, you may also wanna check out the Lost Soul Enterprises collective and record label of which they’re both core members and which currently has a regular bi-weekly residency going at h0L0, a spacious progressive music oasis tucked away in the borderland between Bushwick, BK and Ridgeway, Queens. (Jason Lee)





"Subversive To Care" comp released to benefit AAPI communities

In today’s fast-paced modern era of music streaming and profligate playlist making (not to mention Twitch DJing and all the other means of assembling original musical mixes) the notion of an old-school compilation album (or “comp”) may seem hopelessly out of date. But comps can still be wonderful things, and Subversive To Care (referred to as Sub2Care forthwith), which has been released to coincide with the launch of Paul Is Dead Records, checks off many of the boxes that make them good things.



For one thing, comps are often assembled to raise money for charitable/activist organizations and this one fits the bill with proceeds going to several AAPI organizations—The National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum (www.NAPAWF.org), Asian Mental Health Collective (www.ASIANMHC.org) and The Tibet Fund (www.TIBETFUND.org)—in response to alarming levels of hate crimes and ongoing struggles against prejudice against Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.

What’s more, a good comp is a great way to discover new music and new artists without having to continually troll Spotify’s Teen Beats playlist (granted, SyKo’s “#BrooklynBloodPop!” has its pleasures). And with 60 original songs by the original artists Sub2Care should keep you occupied for a while as you make your way from the start (Wake Up’s “Hurricane” in exclusive demo form; the band is pictured above) to the finish (Squires’ “Tombstoning”) so you basically have got a conceptual theme here of moving from wakefulness to the Big Sleep—not that you can’t skip around within and between individual tracks which is another one of the nice things about comps. They’re basically sampler platters in musical form.

Sub2Care was put together by the new LA-based label Paul Is Dead Records (with satellite offices in New York and Wisconsin apparently) and is likely named either after the notorious Beatles urban legend, or the recent death of Paul Van Doren, patriarch of the Van’s sneaker empire. And while LA artists predominate on the comp (speaking of Vans some of these LA artists no doubt look a lot like Jeff Spicoli or perhaps Phoebe Cates) there’s also a decent number from other locales including New York/New Jersey like Frankie Rose, New Myths, Mevius, Dahl Haus, CITYGIRL, Skyler Skjelset (Fleet Foxes), The Natvral (Kip Berman from The Pains of Being Pure at Heart), and Shana Falana (featuring Shana Falana).

Across musical history, comps have occasionally played a key role in defining the sound of a nascent genre or a new record label—like the Lenny Kaye-compiled Nuggets (1972) that set an early template for punk rock, or the 1988 Sub Pop 200 comp that was a who’s who of future grunge all-stars—and while Sub2Care isn’t strictly speaking a “label comp” since it’s made up of tracks donated by “artists who are close friends and family members of our label” quoting label head and co-founder Evan Mui, it’s still got a certain vibe or aesthetic, if you will, while being pretty darn eclectic at the same time.

I would prospectively call this vibe or aesthetic Twilight Music. By Twilight Music I mean songs that’ve got a certain hazy/dreamy/slightly off-kilter quality whether they’re upbeat or downbeat or mid-beat. And in this way it’s good music for putting on around twilight say when you’re pregaming for a Saturday night out (tracks #13 and 14 are two good examples: Smirk’s “Do You?” and Eternal Summers' “Belong”) or waking up Sunday morning trying to recall what happened the previous night (rewind to tracks #10-12: Four Dots’ “I Left My Heart Pump In San Francisco,” D.A. Stern’s “Funky Holocaust (Drunk Demo),” and Big Nitty’s “Chemical Plant”) or songs that fit equally well for either scenario (for example, tracks 32-34: Dahl Haus’ “Silhouettes and Alibis,” Black Needle Noise’s “And Nothing Remains,” Built Like Alaska’s “Ran Into A Coroner").

So throw a few bucks in the Bandcamp bin for Paul Is Dead Records if you like what you hear. And in return you may discover a new favorite artists or two--whether one of the ones mentioned/displayed here or some other deserving object of your musical admiration. (Jason Lee)









 




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