Chilled by Nature, a Balaeric house outfit, gets a few reworkings first by SF's Windsurf, then by a duo called Black Mustang (I hvae no idea where from) of one of it's chimey cuts called Otherworld. The windsurf version is sweet in its way, bleepy, and sun drenched, but the Black Mustang version is cold as fuck. Disembodied voices, a moroder bass just plodding away, some sleigh bells, a bleak, harsh vision. It doesn't really go anywhere, but then again, I'm not sure there's really anywhere to go. For some of us spring is already in effect, but for those of us still stuck in the brutal cold, this one's for you.

Otherness (Black Mustang's Frozen Moon Jam)

Back from hiatus here everybody, my apologies for the sudden disappearance. Here's something yummy.
New Villager are an indie dance band out of Brooklyn. Their track "Genghis On" strikes me as extremely extremely dangerously repeatable till it becomes annoying. Try it out. It's all about how the melody lags behind chord progression which simultaneously sounds like it's jumping the gun, about the guy playing the spoons on the right channel, and especially the faux gruff voice overs sounding like Lonely Island doing Color Me Badd which complements so roundly with the flightiness of that falsetto chorus.

Genghis On

So in the days of the 90's, my teenage years, I was a huge tape collecting, show going, hippie dancing, band mythology loving, Phish fan. I had cassette tapes with jackets that I designed, tapes totaling in the hundreds, some of tremendously shitty quality, some off the mixing board and sounding amazingly clear. I spent ages and ages hunting online for this stuff, and it was really my first foray into the internet, and into band obsession. Time passed and I became, as many have, pretty disillusioned with the whole hippie ethos in music, jam bands, Phish's new music was getting blander and blander, shows were getting preppier/yuppier and dirtier. Anyway, I haven't even listend to Phish in more years than I can remember. Today I downloaded the whole weekend of shows that are available for free on just to hear them again, and listen to whether the rumors about how much tighter and more energized they've gotten were true. Well it definitely is true that they've gotten a lot tighter. The energy still remains a bit less driven and giddy than in the past, but it brought me so much back to how much I loved this band and why they are so unique and wonderful. I know I'll be doing my best to go see them if they make it out west anytime soon.

My weekly installment of Friday Finds is here. Some nice stuff this week, playing all over the map like genghis khan.
Futurecop! - Transformers (Ghosthustler remix)
Cooley-Munson - Slightly Sue
Archie Shepp - What Would It Be Without You
Micachu and the Shapes - Lips (We Have Band remix)
Gucci Mane - Gucci Girl
Dan Deacon - Get Older
Harlem - Come Back Jonee
Hidden Strength - All We Need Is Time
Knight Rider - We Love You
St. Vincent - Strangers
Soft Circle - Avalanche
Gas - Vier

Download the zip here

Bibio is Stephen Wilkinson, a young composer, producer, and folk auteur from Black Country central England.  He has a new record on Mush, called Vignetting the Compost.  In it he seems to be splitting time between field recording bugs, winds, lake shores, and all manner of small flapping things, and pillaging Incredible String Band recordings.  It's a lovely lofi wistful piece of artifice the affect of which is not unlike that of The Books, where existential innuendo and aimless nostalgia are housed in the body of a wizened old twanger.  That said, Bibio's got his own, blissed out but hyper musical persona.  If I ever did take a fishing trip with my grandfather in central England (supposedly the source of the name Bibio comes from a fishing lure his grandfather used to make), I would hope the soundtrack would be like this.  That said, I can only imaginatively entertain this mythologized scenario for so long.  Sometimes it begins to look plainly old fashioned. Take the excessive reversing of waveforms for example (i.e. where a sound is heard backwards).  It's not that the reference to 60's experimental psychedelia is a problem, it's just that it's used so frequently and in such obvious contexts (strings, guitars) that it starts to sound like a crutch.  
Or take some of the tracks with vocals ("Great are the Piths", "Mr. and Mrs. Compost"); it's fine to emulate the tone of Art Garfunkel, but don't act like that correlates with how memorable a melody is.  The tracks with vocals also in a way give the lie to the majority of the album that doesn't have lyrics.  Why didn't he write vocal parts for every song?  Are the songs with vocals meant to be centerpieces, or at least bear more weight, and if so, why do the vocal parts sound so much like an afterthought?  One of my composition teachers always said that no matter what, when a human voice is introduced into a piece of music, it will be the center of gravity for every other moment or element in the rest of the piece.  Its absence, even, should be defined not as the moment where the voice stops and the instruments continue, but where we begin to wait for the voice to return.  Bibio treats voices like just another patch of color in a delicately sewn quilt, or a reference point to an indefinite past.  It's not someone singing, it's the memory of what it sounds like when someone sings.  This self-referentiality is attractive in the way that vanitas stlye still life is; it cooly offers up a tangible vision of life which is actually hypostatizing as a vision of the inevitability of death.  This is ultimately corrosive of Bibio's true aim, which is not to revisit something that has died and lies curdled in our memory but to re-envision it as a fruit on the vine (at least if I am to believe the album art).  There are moments on this record that spring with this in mind, such as the lilting "Weekend Wildfire", the haunting "Under the Pier", or the playful "Doppleton".  But there is such a wealth of decomposing items, awaiting their rebirth in fresh soil, that the record becomes mildly creepy, and not in a good way, smelling of mothballs before it had even been worn.  

The new grizzly bear album just leaked this morning. Too bad it's 128 kbps, we'll have to wait till the release date (may 26) to hear the album in hi-fi but still, it's pretty unbelievably beautiful at this quality - early highlight tracks: two weeks, about face, i live with you and pretty everything else on the album. Biggest record of the year? ....(decade?) In all honesty, I'm completely biased, i grew up with ed droste the lead singer. I'm not posting the link to the leak for obvious reasons, but suffice it to say that it's a pretty astounding piece of music. please please please buy the album and support one of the most orchestrationally imaginative, melodically gifted, structurally audacious bands in the world. Also, they just posted their tour dates for the summer here. They'll be in LA at the Wiltern June 19 (!)