Archive for October, 2011
I hadn’t heard of Apparat before he released his most recent album The Devil’s Walk about a month ago. He’s a German with a penchant for focusing on the minute sounds that make up the rich knitwork of the bigger audio and the attention to detail yields heavy dividends on the newest record (and maybe on the earlier records, I haven’t heard them, get off my back about it).
Apparat is a structural disciple of the slowbuild, layering vocal atop choral atop orchestral atop instrumental atop ambient noise, finally underpinned by underplayed beats. It won’t give you that immediate nothing to everything moment that dubstep is famous for [over]providing but it’ll give you a more gratifying experience of listening to an artist that is rewarding for more than the very short term.
The album is across-the-board solid but here are two highlights from The Devil’s Walk.
Apparat – ‘Ash/Black Veil’
Apparat – ‘Escape’
Such is my confidence in Tim Fitz that I won’t even listen to this thing before I post it. Some would say that this is indicative of a writer who lacks integrity but I say it demonstrates my brilliant foresight, because undoubtedly, this will be amazing. Earlier this year the guy casually threw down six tracks of smart, sharp technicality that, as an added bonus, sounded superb.
In the time since the release of that first EP, Tim Fitz has been studiously putting tracks to press and recently informed me that he has over 100 recordings in the bank. If these eight tracks are the finest fruits of those 100 then we’ve a real treat on our hands. If you build a graph, plotting the number of tracks Tim Fitz has recorded against the height of Sydney based musicians, an interesting thing happens: Tim Fitz’s head appears right in the middle of the graph. You can’t argue with evidence based science.
Here in it’s full glory, is the new EP.
The inevitable glory that comes with being the first to post about a breaking artist, at least within a smaller clique has been long absent from my life, and that won’t end today. The Felice Brothers aren’t new and they’re not particularly edgy, hip or happening, they’re probably not even particularly good musicians from a technical standpoint. Watching a clip of them in studio it was apparent that headphones and monitors were about as useful to them as a woman would be to Jinja Safari.
They play old timey folk, with an emphasis on the genuine. James Blackwood (of Valar, who are awesome, you know the spiel) shared this song with me and the sheer earnestness of the thing blew me back off my ergonomic swivel chair. The track below is called Ballad of Lou the Welterweight and from what I can gather the song is about a boxer’s last bout and the pre-fight lovemaking (which, I’ve heard, is the best kind of lovemaking) that takes place. Ian Felice’s vocals, which sound like an entangling of Lou Reed and Bob Dylan, somehow manage to carry this crazy blue-collar vibe about the whole track. It’s pretty, it’s sad, it’s slightly racy, it’s just amazing.
The Felice Brothers – ‘Ballad of Lou the Welterweight’
Here’s another from their third record, Tonight At The Arizona.
The Felice Brothers – ‘Roll on Arte’
And here, is another, this time from their fifth, self-titled record.
The Felice Brothers – ‘Frankie’s Gun’
I’m vibing on the new Youth Lagoon record pretty hard right now. Combination of reverb heavy vocals and fuzzed out beats makes me all emotional on the inside, and that’s a good thing. Sometimes I think we just need to feel more deeply and understand each other better, because the key to understanding is tolerance and the key to tolerance is belief in the beauty of justice. I’ve always maintained that if we give 180% in everything we do, all of the time, there’s no limit to what we can achieve. That’s not even an arbitrarily chosen percentage, that’s the scientifically determined amount of effort that will guarentee you a great outcome. Never give up, always remember to stay true to your emotions and let your heart guide you on the winds of your dreams. Because nothing can hold someone back when they fight with a tiger’s courage. We should all aspire to better things and live knowing that every day is just another opportunity to reflect in the magic of hope.
The band is the bedroom project of Trevor Powers who must surely blame his parents for ruining one of the toughest lastnames out there with a given name like Trevor. Missed opportunities I guess. Nonetheless, the early life setback was overcome last week as he released The Year of Hibernation to my critical acclaim. Being in love, going to college, heartache, it’s all in there, apparently. The beats are muted while vocals lilt above it all, kind of fragile, kind of awesome. In and out weave electric guitars and distorted piano lines but you’ll make sense of it and be all, “cool track bro” in no time. Start yourself off with Cannons and then have a listen to Posters, making sure you wait for the beat to kick in at 2:20.
Youth Lagoon – ‘Cannons’
Youth Lagoon – ‘Posters’