Week in Review #13

Posted by on April 5, 2014

Week 12

A DIS Magazine feature from earlier this month began my week, with Danish curator and critic Toke Lykkeberg encouraging art criticism to cool down, be introspective, and re-examine its parameters. He laments a lack of discourse and speculates that “If there is no longer any critical debate, it might be because nobody wants to get busted for being a dope dealer,” implying that contemporary critics still model themselves and the targets of their disputation in relation to capitalist enterprise, too often in effect “posing” and taking an implicit pay-out. The further implication would seem to be that money is more a cultural affectation than ever since, after all, the artist and the critic are ostensibly underpinned by the same consumers, compensated essentially for their subtlety (read, discretion) in how they choose to be different. Anyway, a fun and thought provoking read, if you weren’t already conscious that DIS was doing that sort of thing! Check it out here.

Having said that, I have one further aside about a website that isn’t ours before we get into the meat of this week’s review: I have to salute Philadelphia’s Mark Schonevald on the seventh anniversary of his site Yvynyl, which in days past, alongside a handful of other tremendous writers and artists, helped inspire me and many others to think differently about how music can be consumed. Mark is a tremendous guy and a leader for many, so we at Decoder wanted to wish him luck and many more years of success.

#1 – 3/30/2014 – Multi-faceted Atlanta synth wave label DKA Records announced a two week sale on their catalog; Profligate’s The Red Rope EP is reduced to $10, tapes from Fit of Body and Women’s Work are $3, and there’s a sassy Dylan Ettinger and Goldendust split 7″ available for the same over at their Bandcamp-DP

#2 – 3/31/2014 – Frankie Knuckles, widely recognized as the Godfather of House Music, died at 59. Knuckles, who began DJing in his birth town of New York City in the early ’70s, moved to Chicago in 1977 and pioneered the House genre throughout the ’80s and ’90s. The producer/remixer/DJ’s relevance never faded, continuing to record and perform up until his final days. Check out Knuckles’ full Boiler Room set in New York from May 2013. -BP

#3 – 3/31/2014 – Though I admit to being generally baffled by the much touted observation of some synchronicity when watching the Wizard of Oz with Pink Floyd’s album Dark Side of the Moon, because the synchronicity seems so incidental (as much as you might notice while watching a crowd, listening to music from a parked car), I still can’t fail to mention The Flaming Lips’ riff in the same direction; an extended bit of experimental studio lunacy intended to sync “perfectly” with both The Wizard of Oz and Dark Side of the Moon. Its called Flaming Side of the Moon and makes for quite a pleasant listen by itself, in spite of some concrète elements… sentimentality aside, I think I prefer it that way. -DP

#4 – 3/31/2014 – Asheville’s own Bathetic Records teased four upcoming releases on its Facebook page, also hinting at even more to come in 2014. Expect LPs to come from Daniel Bachman, Caethua, Terrors, and Form a Log, a new super-group of sorts that boasts a lineup featuring Ren Schofield (Container), Noah Anthony (Profligate), and Rick Weaver (Dinner Music), featuring art by J Harris of Lazy Magnet. Check out the teaser image here-BP

#5  – 3/31/2014 – No Kings Record Cadre issued a cassette by Poet Named Revolver,  No Kings-honcho Lee Noble’s previous Nashville band with Steve Molyneux, Caleb Steelman, and TJ Richards. As noble provided a bit of context in the tape’s announcement, “[the album is] the reason No Kings was started, it’s what I think of when I think about Nashville. Desperate songs about city life, apocalypse scenarios, girls, lost friends, car crashes.” -BP

#6 – 4/1/2014 – Seminal tape label Field Hymns releases new cassettes by two of the most forward-thinkers if the fucked-pop scene. German Army’s Tassili Plateau shows the Californian duo in most grimly sublime head-space, while Scammers’ Cover You channels the unsettlingly and arrestingly gorgeous motifs of Phil Diamond’s recent tape on Jehu & Chinaman into swanky surrealism. Word of advice: don’t sleep on these tapes and grab a copy of each immediately. -BP

#7 – 4/2/2014 – Producer Ryan DeRobertis, aka Saint Pepsi, announced that he’d been signed to Carpark Records; he’s clearly around to stay and I daresay so is Carpark, whose catalog certainly seems to gain, building on equally well foregrounded electronic projects like Toro Y Moi and Young Magic. According to Ryan, the new partnership will debut early in Summer 2014 with an LP to follow shortly after. -DP

#8 – 4/2/2014 – Lillerne Tapes released a new cassette with Chicago musician Patrick Piper, titled In The Aureole of LownessThe heady sound collage album features five resonant tones that are “cut, manipulated, layered, and reworked into a powerfully meditative piece of music”. The tape is limited to 50 copies, so you might want to grab a copy before they all evaporate into the ether. -LP

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#9 – 4/2/2014 – Tessellate Recordings released their second Earthtones compilation. Earthtones Volume 2 clocks in at 2 hours long and features music by Grzegorz Bojanek & Lights Dim, Paper Relics, Strom NoirYann NovakOlan Mill and a ton more. The compilation is available for download here. –SD

#10 – 4/3/2014 – Tompkins Square announced a planned Record Store Day release, Dillard Chandler’s The End of an Old Song, a remarkable collection of a cappella country songs originally released by Smithsonian Folkways in 1975. The new edition will be limited to 1000 vinyl copies with original artwork and liner notes. Chandler was first recorded singing the songs by John Cohen in 1963 and 1968, and the original LP is regarded as one of the most sought after Folkways releases. Listen to “Rain and Snow” below. –SD

#11 – 4/3/2014 – Windsor, Ontario-based beatmaker No Skin released what will reportedly be “the last No Skin album,”  No Skin Forever, his fifth and longest collection to date. Follow him on Facebook to find out about continuations of the project… though, to more thoroughly wrap up this blurb… I want to say I have no inside information, but I have to ask: Does the outro “Farewell to Skin” also make you a little suspicious that a circumcision joke could be afoot? “No, of course that isn’t the reason I put this here!” Download the final album and explore his older recordings on Bandcamp-DP

#12 – 4/4/2014 – Orange Milk’s Seth Graham had this to say about the label’s 2014: “Orange Milk Records for 2014 – Scammera, Larry Wish, 食品まつりa.k.aFOODMANPeter Negroponte, Drut PD, Maharadja Sweets aka Richard Exelbert LP, Jerry Paper LP, all of it turned in so far has been on heavy rotation.” You know we’re obsessed with Orange Milk and you may know we’re obsessed with all of these projects. Scammers is Decoder’s own Phil Diamond, so he abstains very courteously from having a formal opinion, like the gentlemen referenced in his nom de plume. -DP

#13 – 4/4/2014 – Leaving Records announced a massive new LP by M. Geddes Gengras, the immensely versatile modular-synth man who’s been affiliated with more LA-based projects than we can count (Personable, Robedoor, LA Vampires, Pocahaunted, Thousands, Voder Deth Squad, et al.). Entitled Ishi, the LP will feature three sprawling tracks of off-set beauty and encumbered weightlessness on CD/LP as well as a digital edition that features a fourth track. Still no audio/video samples publicly available just yet, so stay tuned, as we’ll surely be covering this one once things start to leak. -BP

#14 – 4/4/2014 – Orcas, the sullen dream-pop project of Thomas Meluch (Benoit Pioulard) and Rafael Anton Irisarri (the Sight Below) issued a stunning new video for “Infinite Stillness,” a track taken from Yearling, the duo’s second LP. Directed by Sean Curtis Patrick, the video features 4200-frames, each hand-manipulated in some way by Patrick himself, emphasizing a sense of infinity to each still. Lovely. It’s certainly a painstaking labor of love, to say the least. Yearling is out now via Morr Music-BP

#15 – 4/4/2014 – Spanish language ambient music blog Microphones in the Trees unveiled a massive spring compilation titled Everybody Knows Music Heals the Soul, featuring singles from a whole constellation of more and less recognizable tape imprints; including Constellation Tatsu, Patient Sounds, Wounded Knife, Ginjoha, Rainbow Pyramid,  Noumenal Loom, and SicSic Tapes. Fair warning, the mix is nearly five hours long, so don’t start listening at the wrong time lest ye’ miss that appointment this afternoon. Download here-DP

#16 – 4/5/2014 – Austin Psych Fest announced the (amazing) daily line-ups for their festival (which is May 2-4); you can check out the details via their partner, Noisey. Additionally, the second volume in their official mixtape series by Al Lover was just unveiled — it features artists from the second lineup announcement, including Morgan Delt, Panda Bear, The Fresh & Onlys, Mark Mcguire, and Temples, among many others. -LP

#17 – 4/5/2014 – After successfully funding a UK tour through Kickstarter, Sacramento based Pregnant (who will be touring as a three piece) received some disappointing news which they shared through Facebook; check the pic below. -DP

Pregnant's Tour Ruined