Archive for January, 2010

chapterhouse reunion!


full story over at xlr8r. no dates yet though (c’mon philly!) am i the only one really excited for this? i was a total shoegazer back in the day. now i just need my curve reunion…


phoenix x memory tapes


meant to get this up yesterday but forgot. dayve hawk is at it again! apparently this remix will feature on a new 1901 ep (because, you know, phoenix haven’t had nearly enough exposure in the past year) that will also include a remix by animal collective. i’m inclined to say whoa on that one, but given their subpar yeah yeah yeahs remix last year, i think i’ll refrain for now.

anyway, the memory tapes version is solid as usual and makes me reinvested in the song.

get it here via memory tapes’s blog.

first impressions: the knife – tomorrow, in a year


*gratitude for this first impression review can be attributed to the dreijer siblings themselves, who are streaming their latest opus over at the knife website RIGHT NOW!

whoooo boy, and i remember a time when silent shout was a tough sell for a lot of people. even for the knife, this is about as far from kansas as one can get. to be fair, one can’t evaluate tomorrow, in a year in the same context as previous knife efforts, it being the soundtrack to an opera and all. in that respect, i feel like i’ll never get the full picture of this music without the accompanying visual aspect. nevertheless, i’m finding it to be an alternately fascinating and frustrating listen that earns my immediate admiration but may take longer to earn my love.

couple of things that struck me right off the bat after the jump…

ok, here we go:

  • it’s better to know going in that the knife’s only noticeable vocal contribution here (though it could be karin on the bonus version of “annie’s box” as well) is the track everyone already knows, the epic “colouring of pigeons,” and it’s near the end of the album. additionally, “pigeons” is the first and one of the only songs to actually sound knifey on first listen. unsurprisingly, it remains a highlight.
  • a good portion of the electronics on the first half of the record recall early fennesz. not a bad thing, but definitely unexpected.
  • the eight and a half minute “intermission” of ambient nature sounds undoubtedly works thematically given the darwin inspiration but feels like an overlong palette cleanser. guess you have to see the performance to appreciate it.
  • “seeds” would fit in quite nicely on the new four tet album.
  • the other album highlight, “the height of summer,” is a dead ringer for “heartbeats.” could be a bone to fans, i guess?
  • having a hard time discerning where mt. sims and planningtorock are chiming in throughout this. exactly how significant were their contributions?
  • for it being an opera, there’s a lot less actual singing than i was expecting. again, i’m curious to know how this translates live.

these are about all of the thoughts i can muster as the moment. needless to say, after the the recent accessibility of fever ray, this is less a case of the pendulum swinging the other way than in a completely different room. i’m committed to spending more time with this record as i think it merits it and will reward repeat listens as all previous knife work has. still, i feel that i’m missing something without the full theatrical experience to accompany it. here’s hoping the production crosses the pond sometime soon.

tomorrow, in a year is out digitally next week and physically on march 1.

lali puna remembers


lali puna is finally releasing a follow-up to 2004’s faking the books on morr music. it’s called our inventions and will feature yellow magic orchestra’s yukihiro takahashi.

i kind of forgot how much i was into these guys (six years is a long time to be away) until i listened to new track “remember.” it’s synthy, slinky, and altogether groovy.

hear it now:


look for the rest of the album on april 6.

pop that y-rocks 1.26.2010


my weekly internet radio program, the circuit, airs tonight at 10pm est and again saturday from 9-11pm est on yrock on xpn. this week’s show features new music from four tet, toro y moi, high places, caribou and more. if you know or have a band that you think is circuit-worthy, hit me up via email or soundcloud.

playlist and swag are as follows…

four tet – angel echoes
the xx – VCR (matthew dear remix)
neon indian – deadbeat summer (afghan raiders remix)
atlas sound – shelia (CRACKS remix)
memoryhouse – to the lighthouse (millionyoung remix)
the antlers – two (buffetlibre remix)
toro y moi – low shoulder
CFCF – invitation to love
lindstrøm & christabelle – keep it up
arthur russell – wax the van
high places – on giving up
tanlines – real life (memory tapes remix)(get it here)
phoenix – fences (delphic remix)
lemonade – bliss out (gold panda remix)
ellie goulding – under the sheets (pariah remix)(get it here)
joy orbison – wet look
bullion – time for us all to love
st. vincent – marry me (ETHEREA remix)
phaseone – love test (frank heat VIP)
the knife – colouring of pigeons (dAi refix)
caribou – odessa (get it here)
chromatics – night drive
joy division – decades
golden ages – everything will be alright (get it here)

cool find of the day: golden ages


came across this group on various blogs yesterday evening. they’re a philly group called golden ages and they have echoes of latter day animal collective, m83 and dan deacon. in other words, an electro-enthusiast’s wet dream.

they apparently self-released an EP earlier in the year through their myspace. it doesn’t appear to be available anymore, but they have a full length called tradition on the way in the spring courtesy of deerhaus records.

deerhaus is kindly sharing a few tracks off the album. here is my favorites so far.

everything will be alright

they’re so future.



ok, everyone and their mother has already chimed in with their guesses on who this could possibly be.

i’m hearing everyone from the knife to M.I.A. to gaga to goldfrapp to aguilera. i was leaning toward goldfrapp myself until i heard their actual new single “rocket,” which is too “i love the ’80s” to be connected to anything this weirdly cool.

anyone have any guesses? it sounds like a bit like a cleaner oOoOO to me but i’m almost hoping it’s someone completely new and different.

either way, i’m intrigued. more clues to be found here.

take a swim


dan snaith is releasing his first caribou album since 2007’s immaculate andorra on april 20 via merge records. it’s called swim and is supposedly “dance music that sounds like it’s made out of water,” which given the rather relentless rain that’s befallen these parts lately is kind of funny if entirely coincidental.

snaith is offering the first track off of the album via his website. it’s called “odessa” and it’s sick.

give it a listen for the cost of an email here.

actually, my name’s marina


marina and the diamonds has been on my blog to-do list for quite some time now. of all of the female blog-pop acts to emerge over the past year or so (florence and the machine, ellie goulding, etc.), she is actually the one i have highest hopes for in terms of commercial success. could be her voice. could be her looks. i don’t know. call it a feeling.

her debut album the family jewels comes out feb. 15 and is preceded by single “hollywood” on february 1. the single is already racking up the club remixes and i figured it was time to have another “clash of the remixes” feature on some of the best. let’s dig in…

first up, we have the video for the original for reference:

jaunty and uplifting in spite of the slightly cynical lyrics. a swell starter for the album.

but like marina’s past work (see also the wonderful “mowgli’s road”), it sparkles even brighter in club-ready form. i don’t know what it is about artists and producers that are able to transform her songs into such bangers but i’m not about to start complaining now.

first up is a remix by UK electro-poppers fenech-soler. inverting the verse and chorus over bombastic dance beat, they completely reinvent the track as a fiery floor-filling rager that demands to be blasted at eleven.

oh. my. god. doesn’t quite cover it.

you can hear that over at neon gold records.

up next is the juan maclean’s version of the track. it’s competent but feels rather pedestrian and predictable marina’s voice feels too big for the dfa-by-numbers backing track and begs to bust out into something a lot more propulsive and energetic.

this one can be found here courtesy of electronic rumors.

and finally, we’ve got the most recent take on the song by marina’s fellow neon gold upstarts, the mysterious monarchy. it doesn’t announce itself as strongly as the fenech-soler version but it has a perfectly lovely disco glide that evokes memories of some of fred falke’s better work from the past year. i can’t say it yet, but i’m fairly positive that this one will emerge as my favorite of the bunch with more time.

but what do i know? grab this one over at discodust and decide for yourself which of the three is your personal favorite. feel free to let me know in the comments.

and for the sake of symmetry, here’s a video for marina’s acoustic version of the regional. quite nice, it is:

first impressions: four tet – there is love in you


* this first impression comes courtesy of mr. keiran hebeden himself, who is streaming his gorgeous new album in full at his own website.

we’re roughly five years removed from the release of hebeden’s last album of new four tet material. such a long hibernation may have been wise if not necessary to distance himself from those pesky “folktronica” labels that kept following him around no matter which musical direction he opted to take after 2001’s pause. fortunately, the moment of pause is long over and the future of four tet is here. there is love in you is a sublime slice of ethereal dance-floor bliss…

notes upon first listen:

  • “angel echoes” is probably one of the most beautiful things i’ve heard in recent memory. deceptively repetitive, its looping vocal clips and synth shards keep layering over each other little by little as the song progresses to a positively hypnotic crescendo.
  • i still think i slightly prefer joy orbison’s take* on “love cry.” won’t hold that against the original though.
  • i swear “circling” is a dead ringer for “one for you” by the knife, only with harps in place of xylophones
  • speaking of the knife, the vocals that crop up in “sing” sound a lot like karin’s
  • “plastic people” is a nice reminder that kieran pre-dates axel “the field” wilner by a good few years.
  • “she just likes to fight” is the obligatory throwback song, and it’s still one of his best.

well played, mr. hebeden, well played. there is love in you comes out this tuesday via domino. there are also a few four tet live dates on the horizon, but alas, none in philly.

*and here, so you can hear what i mean: