Monthly Archives: February 2014
Stefan Z just dropped a new podcast for his upcoming slot at the DGTL Festival this April, part of the ADE Event Series in Amsterdam. House music is this DJ’s weapon of choice, and he wields it with notable grace and precision. Z brings a certain toughness to the deep house atmosphere, walking the line between the Toronto and European styles he has integrated himself into. He does have a background in musicianship, including but not limited to piano (which comes in quite handy with production software as you may know). Really, there is no better way to get acquainted with him than to indulge in this podcast. We can only hope you find as much satisfaction in these 50 minutes as we did, though do have confidence in your pending approval. You can stream the mix below>>
Ichisan just dropped a brand “spanking” new mix and we’ve got it right here folks. We’ve been keeping tabs on the Spaceman from Slovenia for quite some time now. Through the autumn blossom to the deep slumbers of hibernation, from the other side to here & there, from the bubble bath with a Mai Tai, to an iced tea behind the sun, we’ve been with him for it all. Now it’s time to go all the way with the just-released ‘Naked Mix’.
This is Ichisan in true form, and it just so happens to be one of his longest releases to date. There are a lot of things to get excited about here at T&A and by now you should know that when he releases new music we get extra…giddy. Once again the tracklist is blissfully obscure and lacking in any major connection to mainstream charts, adding even more personality to his unique presence. Not that such a thing matters provided the music is good, but there is just so much mystery to this artist’s sound, and it’s human nature to find excitement and subconscious reward in the unknown. Each mix, each new song, is a new discovery in itself.
The mix commences with a brief, but colorful arrangement of synth beats to get you primed and ready for your inevitable journey into the uncharted Cosmos. It’s important to stretch before such things you know. After take off the ride begins and it’s all gravy from there on. Vast arrays of synthesizers constantly develop over rich funky undertones, and continue to build layers and swim into each other. The sounds collide resulting in stunning, psychedelic soundscapes. Heavy disco bass lines are broken down and collapse with the raining melodies, forming a razor edge and bringing tough love and momentum to these beautiful compositions. You can’t review this mix track by track, that’s not how Ichisan mixes work. Flowing deep in the vein of his previous works, the ‘Naked Mix’ blends seamlessly into one musical organism. It is in these idiosyncrasies that we find solace in the signature grace that he carries on with time and time again.
For those who are just hearing about him now, his association with electronic music is limited solely to the fact he uses electronic means to produce his. We frown using the term “musician” lightly when referring to electronic music. His skills aren’t restricted to a laptop. Style and nuance aside, his productions are legitimately recorded with real synthesizers and instruments, and his live performances don’t disappoint either. After you spend enough time in his various realms you’ll find evidence to our theory that he may very well have the sonic secrets to the universe. The way his music flows and progresses forward, it seems as if he and the music he plays are one single entity. The ‘Naked Mix’ is a perfect summary of his style and intrinsic sound. You can listen to it below. Ichisan will be returning to the US this month to open for The Disco Biscuits at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia, but we’ll tell you all about that very soon.
The UK’s been on the musical up and up for decades now. From metal, to rock n’ roll, and pop, the Brits across the pond are one of the most constant, ubiquitous influences in our music. With revolutionary music from acts like Orbital and the Chemical Brothers spanning from over 20 years ago, to the modern underground house scene in London, it’s apparent that electronic music is no exception. Don’t get too down though folks, we’ve got roots too (Detroit and Chicago house for starters). In the last decade, the electro-indie movement has been especially huge. The days of new wave are once again upon us, and branching off into limitless blends of modern and old influences alike.
Enter the Manchester-based electronic indie band Silverclub. Although they might not register to American audiences, they’re building a solid following East of the Atlantic. This group takes indie and punk-rock flavors and applies them to synthesizer driven grooves and beautiful arrangements. There is a distinct softness to the vocals, but the music that they intertwine with is textured, and pulsating. It sort of reminds you of The Klaxons’ synth-heavy take on indie rock, only less intense and objectively danceable. Although they are quite heavy with vocals and pop style, they are certainly something to break a sweat to.
Well we brought these guys up for reason. We try to offer a little something for everyone here you know. This week Silverclub released two sparkling new tracks from a forthcoming EP due this April, so we thought we’d bring them to your attention. Both of these new tracks are available on Soundcloud, which you can visit here, or through the links below. “Trouble”, the first of the two new releases, is a more fast-paced synth-rock tune. The second of the two, “Gravity”, shows the darker tendencies the group can be capable of, mixing haunting vocals that overlap a heavy perpetual house groove. Both are a good listen and worth the 11 minutes it will take out of your day.
Their music might be not be necessarily innovative, but what they do, they do very well. There’s three dimensions to their existence. These guys aren’t DJ’s, they are live performers, and very consistent ones at that. Unlike some other bands in the genre, Silverclub has a powerful stage presence. The time frame between releases versus the success of the band overseas tells us they work hard on their tunes. They’re serious. They’re motivated. They clearly have a firm understanding of the anatomy of their music and equiment, and that commands respect.
As the southern region of the United States slowly slips through the icy grip of the unfamiliar cold, residents of the Northeast shake the snow off their heels and head to their venue destinations. Yes that’s right, we’re the crazy bastards with two pairs of pants on hitting the suicidal roadways in pursuit of the only things left to go bump in the cold of night. The winter months here are always abundant with live acts. All the money and 4-wheel drive in the world couldn’t get you to every one though, so we’ll send you in the direction of solid choices.
For instance, FIXED NYC presents back to back performances from Shit Robot and John Talabot at SRB Brooklyn this Friday, February 7th! The evening will showcase Talabot’s recent collaboration with DJ Kicks, and feature accompanying sets from DFA’s own Shit Robot, and sets from FIXED founders Dave and JDH!
Now we’re aware there are a few other formidable acts playing that night in the 5 Burroughs including Hot Since 82, and Claude Van Stroke, and you might be tempted to see one of them. Those are two fine gentlemen indeed, respectable chaps born with a vinyl thumb, but you would be missing out on a truly rare spectacle. Talabot is surely something to write home about, and Shit Robot gracing the stage is a treat in itself. Get your mind off the floor, and jump beyond the midnight hour into the psychedelic house grooves that this combination will deliver.
John Talabot gives a very psychedelic perspective to acid house roots. You can feel a sense of gratitude to his predecessors in his productions. His music drops layer over layer, never abrasively, but delicately and smoothly. With his mixes, the layers continue to overlap and connect until you’re into the territory of a new track. It’s sonic exploration ladies and gentlemen. His signature might be found in the drum tracks, they serve as details to the progression of the song, rather than just a device for carrying notes. His live performance (vs. a DJ set) implements an array of live percussion kits, and is pretty fascinating. Pitchfork gave the DJ Kicks an impressive 7.9, which granted doesn’t always mean much, but in this case it does. His exclusive featured track “Without You” is without uniform to say the least, and tells the story of his style pretty well. Prevalent drum tracks, the short, stabbing bass playing the role of percussion almost, it all tilts a nod to acid house until the vocals wrap around the rhythm with two falling synths. If that sound is any inclination to the contents of his live performance, than our anticipation has doubled.
It’s also fitting to be paired with Shit Robot, an artist who has been DJing and producing music for two decades. Marcus Lambkin, the man behind the bot, packed up his turntables and left Ireland in the mid-90’s to ambitiously integrate himself into the New York club scene. Not long after, he did just that when he met James Murphy and found a home with DFA Records in the early 2000’s, assimilating into the lifeblood of the Brooklyn nightlife. The man is a legend in his own right. Never following conventional formulas, he has always had an abstract approach to music. It’s that obscurity in his sound that pushes the envelope and has made him a respected name. Let’s face it, you can’t get away with making music under the moniker “Shit Robot” for that long if you don’t have any talent. The bill celebrates Talabot’s DJ Kicks release, but Shit Robot is also releasing his first studio album in years, titled ‘We Got a Love’ on March 17th! Thus, it’s very likely that he will be working some new material into his performance, which is certainly something to get excited about. If you want to get an idea what his skills behind the decks amount to, check out this mini-mix he did last month for Annie Mac here.
On one hand you have Talabot moving forward with a modern blend of influences, and on the other, you have Shit Robot, an artist nestled firmly in the roots and history of this music’s movement, with a touch of disco. Incidentally, you are witnessing firsthand the reciprocating evolution of house music. The city dwellers have it easy, but is this show enough to make the small-towners travel? Are you going to wake up the next morning in a radical shift back to suburbia, where the morning snowfall cloaks your home in silence, as if it were a all dream you never wanted to end? Or will you breathe a sigh of relief to be back? We can’t tell you that, but we can tell you those are the questions we live to answer. We can also tell you, that if this event receives the accolades of an unforgettable night, you’ll be sure glad you went. With these two headliners at the decks, and FIXED hosting the party, it’s a safe bet you won’t be forming a refund hungry, torch-carrying mob through the streets of Brooklyn.
Get tickets to the show HERE!
Tits and Acid Reviews would like to say Happy 2014 to all of our readers! We’re back, and this year is already overflowing with live music, new albums, releases, and stories, which means we have a LOT of work to do here. The time for Review-lution is upon us. Don’t forget folks, we do have our very own Soundcloud, which you can visit here. Very soon we’ll have an updated Twitter account, and that way we can keep you posted on everything T&A related. We don’t fancy time-wasting, so for indulging our menial little greeting here, we’ve got a surprise for you:
In the spirit of new beginnings, here’s a brief interview Marc Brownstein did with the Denver-based blog Westword regarding the latest Disco Biscuits shows! Marc talks up the band’s latest performances and recent quality of playing, as well as addresses some voiced concerns from his followers. A lot of his commentary shows a lot of positivity about the band’s future, so their fans have a bone to chew on for the time being. Check it out!