Archive for February, 2012
The new album from The Automatics Group is pretty upfront about its sample sources – each track is named according to the mainstream pop and house acts it borrows from (Swedish House Mafia, Deadmau5…) But anyone expecting a mash-up epic along the lines of Kid 606’s The Action Packed Mentallist Brings You the Fucking Jams is going to be severely disappointed.
Rather than cheekily re-contextualizing his source material The Automatics Group’s Theo Burt diffuses it into a Fourier-transformed mist of hiss and hum. The only recognizable element left over from contemporary dance-pop is the steady four-on-the-floor beat. But even this is reduced to a series of ornately minute clicks and pulses, which have more in common with late 90s glitch-techno. Indeed, the most obvious points of reference here are GAS and Basic Channel.
That doesn’t quite cover it, though. As the album title may suggest, this music avoids the deep-in-the-woods dankness of GAS or the skunky fug of Basic Channel, delivering a ravishing blue-skied clarity. This clarity is all the more remarkable given the claustrophobic, over-compressed sound of the music music Summer Mix samples. The whole album has a sense of presence unusual for a 2010s digital production and the dynamic range is startlingly wide by any standards.
All of which makes it easy to speculate about what The Automatics Group might be trying to say with this project. Perhaps this is an attempt to suggest a more open, unashamedly cerebral alternative to contemporary pop’s bullish insistence that you must party hard. But it would be frankly wrong to impose this here blog’s ideological agenda on such a simply, stunningly gorgeous record.
And in any case, the Group has provided a fairly detailed explanation of the rather extraordinary process used to create the album, which suggests that a formalistic focus on pure aesthetics is the goal here – certainly, no other agenda is stated or strongly implied. You can read it at the label’s website, where you can also purchase a copy of the CD, which comes vacuum-sealed within a beautifully-designed antistatic bag, as Entr’acte releases generally are.
Video Bar: Winter Social
@ VIVO Media Arts Centre, 1965 Main Street, Vancouver BC
Friday Feb 24, 8pm-midnight
A chance to drink and socialize accompanied by background music from…
connect_icut (9:05-9:50) | http://connect-icut.com/
Sparse improvisations on a virtual Fender Rhodes, sampled live and arranged using custom-built generative music software. Dreamy and disorientating, if all goes to plan.
Loscil (10-10:50) | www.loscil.ca
This incarnation of Scott Morgan’s loscil project features remixes of past works and premiers of new creations with live, improvised accompaniment by long time collaborator, Jason Zumpano on Rhodes piano. With a penchant for slow moving, low level, nearly static compositions, loscil carves out a soundtrack for hidden worlds and creates a listening space dually suited to deep listening or purely subconscious absorption.
Kristen Roos (11-11:45) | www.kristenroos.com
Kristen’s live performance will involve using his voice and small percussive instruments manipulated with looping, delay, pitch and filtering pedals, to create a kind of psychedelic wallpaper, as background music for conversation at the bar.
Fieldhead | www.fieldheadmusic.com
Fieldhead produces ambient/electronic music that delights in tape hiss, geography, bleak landscapes and decaying analogue loops.
Bubblegum Cage III favourite Fieldhead will be playing at Blim in Vancouver this Friday to kick off a short tour of western Canada. Later this month, he’ll also be organizing a free show at Vancouver’s VIVO Media Arts Center, which will feature music from Loscil and connect_icut. More details on that when we get them. In the meantime, here are the details of the Blim show…
Friday February 17th @ Blim, Vancouver, BC, Canada (www.blim.ca)
$8-10 | Doors 8pm
Last.FM : http://www.last.fm/event/3157027+Fieldhead+at+Blim%2C+115+East+Pender+on+17+February+2012
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/events/234293253312782/
“FIELDEAD | http://www.fieldheadmusic.com
Fieldhead (Gizeh Records) is P Elam (originally from Leeds, UK, currently a resident of Vancouver, BC). He produces ambient/electronic music that delights in tape hiss, geography, bleak landscapes and decaying analogue loops. Fieldhead’s live show combines the grainy textures and dusty loops married with brevity and melody to be found in their recorded work with a slow burning sense of purpose and beauty communicated through a mix of electronics and ‘live’ instruments.
CHRIS TENZ | http://mini50records.bandcamp.com/album/frozen-arms
Chris Tenz (Mini50 Records) is a resident of Calgary, AB. His debut album Frozen Arms was released in December 2011 and communicates themes of loss and regret through brutally honest lyricism and sweet, spider-like melodies crossing from the harsh light of reality into the blurred lines of fiction. Chris’s music tells tales in a whispering voice set against panoramic soundscapes: it’s the music of aimless late night neon wanderings that brings to mind Mt. Eerie/Microphones set in a more desolate place.
MONGST | http://www.myspace.com/mongst
Mongst is the solo output of JV Dub (also of Shearing Pinx and Aerosol Constellations), and has released a number of EPs on Isolated Now Waves. Mongst’s music is vast, minimal, hugely engaging and a touch unsettling: long drawn out samples blend effortlessly with guitar drones to stunning effect.”
…Is simply a link to this thread on the MBV forum, which contains some apparently reliable information – and, frankly, rather a lot of speculation – about the band’s current activities. Seems they’re in the studio and actually getting somewhere, for a change. Of course, experience teaches us that, even if they do finish something, it’s never going to get an official release (where are those remasters, eh?) Still, it seems likely that some of this material will leak on the Internet at some point in the next 15-to-20 years. We’ll take whatever we can get at this stage, won’t we?
You may remember that, last October, this here blog enthusiastically trumpeted the official CD release of Disco Inferno’s The 5 EPs compilation. Since that time, a vinyl edition of said compilation has not been forthcoming. In an attempt to redress this monstrous injustice, Bubblegum Cage III has partnered with The UK Post-Rock Group to launch an online petition, which you are strongly urged to sign.
Apparently, the official line is that One Little Indian will only release The 5 EPs on vinyl once a satisfactory number of CDs have been sold. Therefore, you are also strongly urged to fork out for a CD copy of the compilation, if you haven’t already bought one. In fact, buy a bunch of copies and give them to friends. Then tell those friends to go sign the petition.
This is THE MOST IMPORTANT REISSUE IN THE HISTORY OF RECORDED MUSIC and it deserves a full, proper VINYL edition. Please.