Archive for June, 2013
Why didn’t any of you tell me about this? You’re not even worth keeping around if you’re not going to keep me up to speed, especially on the projects of former Middle East members. Having heard tunes from Rohin, Bree, Mark and co, it’s now Jordan’s opportunity to put forward his solo fare. It’s wobbly and distorted and says to me that maybe, just maybe, the lot of them shouldn’t have split since stylistically it’s not that different from where Rohin’s R.L Jones project was at, the last time we heard from it, anyway. Spunk have a vinyl pre-order available now that will supposedly allow you access to a digital download of a single? the record? I don’t even know, it was kind of vague. All I know is I’ve put my dollars down and I’m still hanging out for all those digital bits I was promised. He’s adopted the moniker ‘Stolen Violin’ which has a rather nice ring to it but doesn’t make for difficult googling and he has a record due out… soon. I need to hear more.
*UPDATE* It’s a full album download with the record pre-order. Get on that. Or you can purchase it on iTunes presently.
I don’t know if it’s too early in the morning for a track like this but I’m defying convention and throwing traditional bloghaviour to the wind, let’s do this folks. Due warning though, you’re about to spend the next four minutes and forty four seconds tripping balls. The other day I was asked to add some tracks into a play list titled ‘Best Stoner Tracks’ and if I’d had the forethought to nominate this one right here I might have received some celebratory hi-fives for a bang on suggestion. Visually, it’s pretty Boosh-esque and headlines a series of foetal images and Captain Alfoil which in itself is reasonably interesting in tandem with the filters and overlays but it’s the tune atop it all that has been doing it for me. If you’re at all familiar with 70s glam-folk then you might recognise that this is a highly convoluted cover of T. Rex’s Cosmic Dancer which for me is a bloody good choice of songs to cover indeed. Ya boy Kirkis does it admirably too. Best choice for him, I think, because both his completely whacked out version and T. Rex’s original are sleeping on a glorious bassline though despite a new title, Kirkis’ version sounds slightly more Cosmic. Also, if I’m not mistaken those are the vocals of Lorelei who featured on his banger ‘The Soft Machine’ which I liked a whole bunch a few months back (and still like but that was when I, you know, started liking it). She’s no stranger to the BVs performing similar duties for Hiatus Kaiyote who just today announced that they’ve signed with Flying Buddah + and are hopping a jet to Europe so that’s a pretty good twofor. Anyway, ingest this at your leisure. It’s from his forthcoming LP Liverbleach.
Usually when I don’t really understand the technical side of a track (which is to say whenever I listen to anything, ever) I can still point to a few musical touchstones to draw reference to. Not here though. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve failed to procure a coffee this morning or I just don’t have it within my vocabulary to explain just what this reminds me of / sounds like. Dancing about architure, and all that. The one thing I know is that for five and a half minutes this track doesn’t stop pulsing with energy. It isn’t surprising that the wave form looks like a slug because there’s no point at which those questing synths die down. Except, you know, the end of the song. The drum line is as unrelenting as the synth and helps retain intensity across the length of the record while the vocals frame questions above it all. Big tune.
You know what this dude can actually do? Write a song. That’s a damn sight more than a lot of Unearthed artists right now. The go-to move seems to be to pick a stylistic point of reference (current favourite seems to be Chairlift) and then sing tunes that are sonically similar. I use the word ‘tunes’ intentionally here because largely, they’re not songs. There’s not much meat on the bone when it comes to technical or structural songwriting. Conversely, there are the three songs I’ve heard from Bus Vipers. All three seem as though they would have been songs prior to the frills being added. There was no tinkering for the right sound to base the song around [probably], that all came after the fact [maybe] and that’s why when you’re listening to them you’re actually singing along to something [definitely] instead of simply thinking ‘this is nice’.
Largely the project of lone Canberra (soon to be sydney) man Daniel Ahern, Bus Vipers are still in what ‘we in the business’ like to call ‘early days’ but given what I just heard there’s no doubt in my mind that it’ll be a short formative period followed by a big ol’ economic boom. Also Daniel, if you don’t go with a Snakes On A Plane parody for your next Bus Viper’s videoclip I can’t even help you. It’s just destiny. I’m told there’s an EP in the works for the end of the year provided that there are enough yearning ears so help him/me/yourself make it happen by casting your likes thusward.
The new Valar song dropped yesterday to rapturous internet applause. Wait nope, the internet is an idiot and it didn’t even realise. That bloody internet, you know!? The band gently tapped me on the shoulder.
“Yes?” I asked?
“Guess what we’ve got for you?” Go on guess.”
“Is it… the gift of caring for each other?”
“Nope, not that! We love that though! But it’s… diversity. We’ve all got all this diversity to show you!”
And so they did. They showed me all their diversity which isn’t any sort of code for their bits and pieces but the simplest way of saying that they’re going to put out an EP real soon that going to be a stylistic mixbag. A real “licorice allsorts” sort of affair. I’m really keen for this one. The three piece come five piece are making tunes that demand a greater audience than they currently receive so please please please take the time to hit go on the below player. This is the step forward in songwriting that I’ve been personally hoping Valar would take for some time and it’s gratifying to see them striding out of comfort zone and into a sharper space. Structurally impressive but also nice to see Blackwood’s vocals put to the test on a technical level when in the past we’ve seen drum and bass parts pushing boundaries but rarely risks taken vocally. And with explorative sounds come explorative ideas, with the two tracks we’ve heard demonstrating a direct line of conceptuality that moves from star to asteroid belt to dark space.
WordPress is trying to to tell me that both conceptuality and explorative aren’t real words. I don’t mind making up words in my posts as long as I know that I’m making up words. Give it a rest wordpress.
If you’re in Sydney and you’d like to catch them live they’re playing a small show with Tin Sparrow and Charlie Gordon via The Smallest Gig.