Reviews

Is/Is, ‘Is/Is’

May 30, 2014

Is/Is, ‘Is/Is’ Manimal Vinyl, 2/4/2014 If I’m as musically restless as I think I am — if I can’t stand hearing the same thing repeated ad nauseam — then why do I fall for the strictures of rock ‘n’ roll over and over again? Take this release from the Minneapolis trio of Sarah Rose, Sarah Nienbauer, and... 

Jute Gyte/Venowl Split

May 28, 2014

Jute Gyte/Venowl Split Black Horizons, 3/27/2014 I’m listening to track one of a split cassette from what I’m sure must be one of my favorite recent label discoveries, San Francisco based Black Horizons. My wife just walked in on me and could hear screaming through my headphones twenty feet from where I sit, stopping... 

Back Magic, ‘Chorus Line to Hell’

May 23, 2014

Back Magic, ‘Chorus Line to Hell’ Milvia Son Records, 5/1/2014 Having formed all the way back in 2006, Back Magic took their time getting around to releasing their début full-length. After a tape and a limited run of 5” lathe cuts for Pilgrim Talk, the Illinois duo has skipped to Milvia Son for Chorus Line To Hell, a fiendishly... 

Michael Yonkers, ‘Michael Lee Yonkers’

May 21, 2014

Michael Yonkers, ‘Michael Lee Yonkers’ Drag City, 1/21/2014 What makes a legend’s recordings legendary? Aside from the performances, the era, the circumstances of the release, or the artist’s persona, there is a spectre that evolves from these elements (and others, I am sure). This spectre especially seems to follow word-of-mouth... 

Millie & Andrea, ‘Drop the Vowels’

May 19, 2014

Millie & Andrea, ‘Drop the Vowels’ Modern Love, 3/31/2014 On their own, Andy Stott and Miles Whittaker tend towards the dark side of electronica, sometimes veering far from anything that could ever make anyone move their feet, let alone dance. On his solo albums, Andy Stott has plumbed murky, dub-techno to masterful effect, most recently... 

The Olivia Tremor Control, ‘John Peel Session’

May 15, 2014

The Olivia Tremor Control, ‘John Peel Session’ Chunklet, January 2014 When I came across The Olivia Tremor Control during an extended Elephant Six binge in high school, the book seemed as good as written. Formed in 1994 by artists Will Cullen Hart, Bill Doss, and Jeff Mangum, out of their earlier project Synthetic Flying Machine, I was an oblivious... 

Jake Tobin, ‘Torment’

May 13, 2014

Jake Tobin, ‘Torment’ Chill Mega Chill, 3/5/2014 As someone who is still relatively fresh to discovering certain musical corners, one of the constant questions that fascinate me is the continuous dissolution of the borders between traditionally disparate sounds and approaches to making music. My own experience has given... 

Koen Holtkamp, ‘Motion’

May 6, 2014

Koen Holtkamp, ‘Motion’ Thrill Jockey, 3/25/2014 Music that is both intricate and meditative really thrills me. The obvious benefit is the opportunity to sail across lush sonic textures of sound that is usually macroscopically ambient in nature. Listening more closely, however, patterns emerge and blossom, tumble about, break... 

Chester Hawkins, ‘Semisolids’

May 1, 2014

Chester Hawkins, ‘Semisolids’ Intangible Arts, 2/22/2014 If Chester Hawkins promises anything, it’s his “A-game,” so to speak — his music resonates with the tireless perfectionism of his craft. No timbre or melodic phrase presents itself without the total assurance that it has withstood his critical scrutiny. Each statement...