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New Video: Avantist’s Descend into Hell with Visuals for “this_could_be_it”

Deriving their name from a British English word that means to be an avant-gardist — one who emphasizes, practices and celebrates experimental and unorthodox methods and techniques and incorporates them into a craft, Avantist is a South Side, Chicago-based post-punk act, comprised of the Arias Brothers, Luis (drums), David (guitar), Erick (bass) and Fernando (vocals). And over the past decade, the sibling band has dedicated their live stop making avant-garde music, centered around their shared personal philosophy that art is, should and must be progressive, dynamic and unconventional, and that creativity is something to incorporate in every single aspect of one’s life. 
 
The band’s recently released EP Terasaoma finds the band stepping out of their comfort zone by forcing themselves to write, record, mix and master the EP’s material within a month, rather than the two years it took for their debut effort, and while further cementing the band’s reputation locally and regionally for crafting raucous and infectious post-punk, the EP finds the band pushing their sound and songwriting in wildly different directions; in fact, the EP’s material runs the gamut from angular and furious post-punk to soulful R&B. The EP’s latest single though is the thrashing and angular post-punk ripper “this_could_be_it,” which finds Fernando Arias howling and singing alternating lyrics in Spanish and English. May the song remind the listener that being proudly, boldly and fearlessly of color and representing everything that your heritage means in these dark, dark days is truly punk as fuck — and perhaps more so if you’re Black or of Latin descent. 

Co-directed by the members of the band and Justin Nico Flocco, the recently released video for “this_could_be_it” is on some level a tale of death, rebirth and deliverance within a brutal, unforgiving, hellish world as it follows a Sisyphean-like protagonist, who  is endlessly chased by armed soldiers that capture him, bound him and sacrifice him — repeatedly.  Adding  to the hellishness of the video, there’s a brief and fleeting suggestion that the the protagonist after a while is aware that his horrible fate is inescapable. 

 

Deriving their name from a British English word that means to be an avant-gardist — one who emphasizes, practices and celebrates experimental and unorthodox methods and techniques and incorporates them into a craft, Avantist is a South Side, Chicago-based post-punk act, comprised of the Arias Brothers, Luis (drums), David (guitar), Erick (bass) and Fernando (vocals). And over the past decade, the sibling band members have dedicated their lives to making avant made music, centered around their shared personal philosophy that art is, should and must be progressive, dynamic and unconventional, and that creativity is something to incorporate in every single aspect of one’s life. 
The band’s soon-to-be released EP Terasaoma finds the band stepping out of their comfort zone by forcing themselves to write, record, mix and master the EP’s material within  month, instead of the two years it took for their debut effort; however, Terasoma will reportedly further cement the band’s reputation locally and regionally for raucous and infectious post punk while finding the band pushing their sound and songwriting in completely different directions — with the material running the gamut from angular and furious post-punk to more R&B-like.  Of course, the EP’s latest single is the thrashing and angular post-punk ripper “this_could_be_it,” which finds Fernando Arias alternating lyrics in Spanish and English. And in some way, the song should remind listeners that being proudly,  boldly and fearlessly of color — and of Latin descent in particular — in these dark and infuriating days may truly be punk as fuck.
The Chicago-based sibling quartet will be playing a bunch of shows to support their EP, including an EP release show at The Empty Bottle on June 20, 2018. Check out the tour dates below.
Tour Dates
6/20 – Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle (EP Release Show)
6/22 – Chicago, IL – PRF BBQ Fest @ Illuminated Brewery
6/23 – Alton, IL – Bottle & Barrel
6/24 – Tulsa, OK – Soundpony (w/ The Danner Party, Carlton Hesston)
6/25 – Austin, TX – Beerland (w/ The Boleys, Desilu, Black Basements)
6/26 – Spring, TX – The Blue Giraffe (w/ Brainstorm fir Tuesday, Kaleidescope Project, and Zzyzx)
6/28 – Birmingham, AL – Firehouse (w/ False Jasmine, Bible Belt, Mike Hombre)
6/29 – Nashville, TN – Betty’s Grill
6/30 – Louisville, KY – Lydia House (w/ Wax Astro, Legs Akimbo)
7/01 – Champaign, IL – Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center (w/ Arboris, Parachute Day

New Video: MF Doom and Czarface Release a Wildly Experimental Yet Accessible Single Paired with Cartoon Animated Visuals

Daniel Dumile is a British-born, Long Island, NY-based emcee and producer, who has  gone through a number of stage names and personas throughout his lengthy and wildly influential recording career, which began back in 1988 when as Zev Love X, he founded KMD with his younger brother DJ Subroc and Rodan, who was later replaced by Onyx the Birthstone Kid. A&R rep Dante Ross learned of KMD through the members of 3rd Bass and signed the group to Elektra Records. Now, if you were a child of the 80s and a voracious music listener as I was (and still am), you’d remember that KMD’s debut was with a guest spot on 3rd Bass’ “The Gas Face.” Their 1991 full-length Mr. Hood was a minor hit as a result of the success of “Peachfuzz” and “Who Me,” which received regular rotation on Yo! MTV Raps and BET’s Rap City. 

Slated for a 1993 release, KMD’s sophomore album Black Bastards was reportedly shelved because of its controversial cover art, which featured a cartoon of a stereotypical pickaninny or Sambo character being hanged from the gallows and because of its lyrical content and themes. Tragically, before the album was completed, Dumile’s brother DJ Subroc was struck and killed while attempting to cross the Nassau Expressway, and within that same week, KMD was subsequently dropped from Elektra Records. Reeling from grief and bitterness, Dumile became a recluse, retreating from music and performing between 1994 and 1997 before emerging as MF Doom, a masked character he created and patterned after the Marvel Comics super-villain Doctor Doom, as a way to seek revenge “against the industry that so badly deformed him,” he has famously claimed.

Around the same time, Black Bastards had become bootlegged, building a sense of intrigue and buzz around Dumile in underground hip hop circles. Since then, he has developed a reputation for an imitable flow, full of surrealistic abstractions, centered around comic book violence, an obsession with all things pop culture and wry observations, as well as a highly sought after collaborator and producer, who has worked with Madlib in Madvillain, Danger Mouse in Danger Doom, Ghostface Killah in Doomstarks, Jneiro Jarel in JJ Doom and Bishop Nehru in NehruvianDoom among others.

Speaking of collaborative  projects renowned underground hip hop duo 7L & Esoteric and the Wu-Tang Clan’s Inspectah Deck are the members of hip-hop supergroup Czarface, a character the trio created that’s also patterned after comic book villains that represented aspects of each individual members. Interestingly, the act can trace its origins to when the trio toured together, which lead to “Speaking Real Words” off 7L & Esoteric’s 2001 album, The Soul Purpose and “12th Chamber” off their 2010 album, 1212, and a number of other singles. And since the group’s formation back in 2013, they’ve released three critically applauded albums — their 2013 self-titled debut, 2015’s Every Hero Needs a Villain and 2016’s A Fistful of Peril.

You’re probably thinking — well, that’s nice and all, but why are you getting into all of this? Simple: MF Doom and Czarface have teamed up on what I think may arguably be one of hip-hop’s most highly-desired collaborative effort Czarface Meets Metal Face. Now, as you may recall, I wrote about the album’s second single “Bomb Thrown,” a perfect example of what to expect from the album: the members of Czarface spitting much more straightforward and explosive gangster shit verses — and they alternate with of the genre’s most admired wordsmiths and technicians, as he fires off surrealistic abstractions and non-sequiturs, pop cultural references, insane punch lines and wildly complicated inner and outer rhyme schemes over a soulful production featuring a chopped up chorus, twinkling keys, looped Spaghetti Western-like guitars  and tweeter and woofer rocking boom bap beats. And what makes the collaboration work, is that it’s an effortless meeting of the minds, in which each one challenges and pushes the other in a track full of witty, pop culture references, ridiculous, cartoonish violence, insane word play and rhyme schemes with each artist throwing haymakers at their competition.  Unsurprisingly, Czarface Meets Metal Face’s latest single “Meddle with Metal” continues in a similar vein with the super team rhyming over a menacing production centered around a looped sample consisting of buzzing arena-like power chords and arpeggiated organ reminiscent of Jay Z sampling The Doors “Five to One” with thumping beats — but adding a weird sense of whimsy is ethereally twinkling synths in a track that manages to be completely out of left field in its mind-bending experimentalism with a radio friendly accessibility. 

Directed by James Reitano for TFU Studios and animated by Boris Zhitomirsky, Brett Johnson and Kyle Greener, the recently released visuals for “Meddle with Metal” continues with the cartoon and comic book obsessed vibe and tone of its predecessor as it has Czarface flying in to save his captured partner DOOM, and once united they battle some baddies near old ruins. As a child of the 80s, the video reminds me of countless afternoons and evenings watching GI Joe and The A-Team.

New Video: Introducing the Club-Banging Sound and Trippy Visuals of Sydney’s The Goods

I’ve been in Washington D.C. for the past day and a half on a business trip related to my day job as an acquisitions editor at a SoHo, Manhattan-based publisher, and as a result I haven’t been able to post as frequently as I’d prefer; but at the same time I’ve been with two colleagues, who I met while in the Netherlands, who I’ve quickly become fond of and some extremely lovely folks in sales and marketing, some of who are based here in the States and a couple, who are based in the UK. But if you know me well enough, you know that I typically survive on 4-5 hours of sleep during the workweek and as it is I’m fitting in a post or two while my colleagues are asleep. So let’s get to the business at hand . . .

With the 2016 release of their self-titled double EP, the Sydney, Australia-based electro soul act The Goods, currently comprised of founding members, multi-instrumentalists and production duo Boris Bangaltar and Rosario D’Awesome, both of whom have toured and recorded with nationally known acts such as Touch Sensitive, Daniel Merriweather, Dereb The Ambassador and George Maple, and newest member Black Tree, who has a stint as a touring backing vocalist for Sydney-based soul singer/songwriter Ngaiire — and who started collaborating with the band on “Ninja Trolls,” the trio quickly developed a reputation for a sound that reportedly blurred the lines between disco, funk and classic house while nodding at Gorillaz and Outkast. And as a result, the then-duo received radio airplay across community radio and on Triple J. Adding to a growing profile, the act opened for Onra, Oddisee and Winston Surfsshirt.

“Make Your Move,” the first single from the newly constituted trio will further their growing reputation for a slickly produced track that sounds as though it nods to several disparate sources including DFA Records, classic house, 80s electro soul and contemporary electro soul acts inspired by the 80s, including Dam-Funk and others; in fact the track features Black Tree’s soulful and sultry vocals paired with a slick, thumping, club-banging production featuring arpeggio keys, wobbling synths, tons of cowbell, finger snap-led percussion, razor sharp yet infectious hooks and a feel, good, cosmic glow in what may arguably be one of the most dance floor friendly songs I’ve come across this year.

The recently released music video follows the trio as they wander around, and goof off around a rainy Sydney — but if you pay close attention, the trio slowly turn aspects of their world into bold, brilliant colors.

New Video: Introducing the Noisy, Alt-Rock-Inspired Sounds of Amsterdam’s Canshaker Pi

With the release of the “Shaniqua” and “Looking For Love On Ibiza” 7 inch single and their Boomslang and For Ed EPs, the Amsterdam-based indie rock quartet Canshaker Pi — comprised of Willem Smit (vocals, guitar), Boris de Klerk (vocals, guitars), Ruben van Weegberg (bass) and Nick Bolland (drums) — have received a reputation across the Netherlands and elsewhere fro a frenzied live show consisting of swaggering and noisy rock that mischievously draws from a variety of sources. Their For Ed EP is a tongue in cheek references to survival-expert Ed Stafford, while “Shaniqua” references a line in Outkast’s smash-hit single “Hey Ya!” — and as a result of their rapidly growing profile, the Dutch quartet caught the attention of Pavement’s and Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks’ Steven Malkmus, who co-produced the Dutch’s quartet soon-to-be-releaed full-length debut Naked Flowers.

Naked Flowers’ latest single “Bonox” finds the band pairing anthemic hooks with shimmering yet tense and angular guitar chords, four-on-the-floor-like drumming, a propulsive bass line and Smit’s ironically detached vocals to craft a song that manages to sound as though it were indebted to 90s alt rock, post-punk and Brit Pop simultaneously — but with a mischievousness at its core.

The recently released music video features time-lapse footage of a painter creating a painting to the song — including brief moments to smoke cigarettes and daydream, a lot of precise mixing of pigments and actual painting and making sure that every little detail was precise to how he had initially envisioned and what he envisioned what it was supposed to be.

New Video: The Bittersweet and Contemplative Sounds of Norwegian, Synth Pop Trio Chain Wallet

Comprised of Stian Iversen, Christian Line and Frode Boris, the Bergen, Norway-based electro pop trio Chain Wallet specialize in a shimmering, reverb-heavy and deeply 80s inspired synth pop tinged with bittersweet nostalgia, and the trio’s full-length, self-titled effort, which was released by renowned Oslo, Norway-based label Jansen Platerproduksjon thematically explores themes of betrayal, idleness and crushed dreams against the backdrop of an existential breakdown. And while loosely portraying different aspects of the quarter-life crisis, the album reportedly manages to capture the almost universal feeling of creeping unease and uncertainty of our time, as you’ll hear on the hauntingly moody and shimmering single “Faded Fight.”

The recently released video for the song captures a group of 20 somethings goofing off in bars an house parties with a youthful, exuberant urgency — but underneath that exuberance are a bunch of awkward, uncertain and dysfunctional adults, who have to recognize that no one ever really has it together; that people generally pretend to have their shit together until life inevitably breaks their hearts.

With the release of their critically acclaimed, tenth full-length album Pink a decade ago, Japanese metal trio Boris achieved international attention, outside the tight-kint underground metal community; in fact, the album landed on a number of Best of Lists from underground metal sites, mainstream rock magazines and Pitchfork‘s Best Albums of 2006 list. And adding to the growing attention they received that year, album title track “Farewell” was featured in Jim Jarmusch‘s cult classic film The Limits of Control

In order to commemorate the 10th anniversary of its initial release, the band comprised of Atsuo (drums, vocals), Wata (guitar, vocals) and Takeshi (bass, guitar and vocals) along with renowned indie label Sergeant House will be re-issue a deluxe edition of the album as a 3LP and 2CD box set everywhere except Japan on July 8, 2016, featuring several perviously unreleased tracks recorded during the 2004-2005 Pink sessions, three longer edits of truncated album tracks off the original CD release “Farewell,” “Pseudo-Bread,” and “My Machine,” and the original artwork from the Japanese version, created by the band members themselves. Additionally, the box set will include a collection of album tracks that the band re-mixed, re-mastered, re-edited or re-arranged over the course of the past year that the band has viewed as a special director’s cut of their beloved album — and in some way, it may be seen as capturing their original artistic intentions.

 

The deluxe edition’s latest single “SOFUN” finds the band pairing blistering, guitar pyrotechnics, thundering and propulsive drumming reminiscent of metal and grunge but with an ironic, punk rock sneer and howled vocals — and sonically, the song sounds as though it draws equal influence from Motorhead, early Metallica, Bad Religion, and My Vitriol while being mosh pit worthy.

The members of Boris will be embarking on a lengthy North American tour in which they will perform Pink in its entirety. Joining them for all but two Canadian dates will be new labelmates Earth and it’ll include a New York area date at Warsaw. Check out tour dates below.

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BORIS / EARTH / SHITSTORM TOUR 2016:
07/22 San Diego, CA @ The Casbah
07/23 Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom
07/25 Dallas, TX @ Trees
07/26 Austin, TX @ The Mohawk
07/28 Ybor City, FL @ The Orpheum
07/29 Orlando, FL @ The Social
07/30 Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade
07/31 Asheville, NC @ The Orange Peel
08/01 Nashville, TN @ Third Man Records
08/03 Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
08/04 Washington, DC @ 930 Club
08/05 Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw
08/06 Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
08/07 New Haven, CT @ College Street Music Hall
08/09 Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
08/10 Montreal, QC @ Bar Le Ritz P.D.B. (no Earth)
08/11 Toronto, ON @ Lee’s Palace (no Earth)
08/12 Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop
08/13 Grand Rapids, MI @ Pyramid Scheme
08/14 Chicago, IL @ Metro
08/16 Madison, WI @ Majestic Theater
08/17 Minneapolis, MN @ Fineline Music Cafe
08/18 Lawrence, KS @ Granada Theatre
08/19 Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater
08/20 Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
08/22 Seattle, WA @ Neumo’s
08/23 Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
08/25 San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore
08/26 Los Angeles, CA @ The Regent Theater
08/27 Las Vegas, NV @ Hard Rock Hotel – Psycho Las Vegas (Boris only)

Although members of the Stockholm, Sweden-based psych rock band Caviare Days have split time between Berlin, Germany, Brooklyn and their hometown, the band can trace their origins to when it started as the musical project of siblings and founding members  Lina and Maja Westin. The project expanded to a full-fledged band when the Westins recruited  Timmy Grim (drums), Boris Grubesic (guitar) and Marcus Arborelius (keys, synthesizer bass) to assist in fleshing out the project’s sound. Thanks in part to a collaboration with The Soundtrack of Our Lives’ Ebbot Lundberg, which was released to critical praise across Europe and a Scandinavian tour opening for Lundberg’s band, the Stockholm-based quintet started to receive international attention across both the European Union and here in the States — they’ve appeared on BBC Introducing, toured and recorded in Germany and have received some attention Stateside; in fact, the band has become part of a lengthy list of mainstay artists on JOVM over the past year or so.

The band’s recently released single “More Than One” continues with the songwriting and recording approach of their Like Me EP with material that captures the live sound that they’ve perfected as they’ve toured across Europe — while revealing a band that’s playfully and subtly expanded their sound. Sonically, the new single meshes bluesy and shuffling glam rock guitar chords, anthemic power chord-led hooks and the Westin sisters’ sultry harmonies in a song that sounds as though it’s indebted more to Ziggy Stardust-era David Bowie and to T. Rex than it does to psych rock as the song shuffles and swaggers to its conclusion.

Just from this song, there’s a sense that the Stockholm-based quintet are ready to take over the world — and I fully expect that we’ll be hearing more about them Stateside in the next few months.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Born and raised in Paris, the currently Los Angeles-based keyboardist, singer/songwriter and electronic music artist Morgane Lhote has had quite an impressive musical career, which includes stints in several different locales throughout the years. When Lhote was 20, she moved to London where she spent 12 — and during that period in the UK, between 1995-2001, Lhote was a member of Stereolab contributing on several of the band’s most beloved and critically applauded efforts, including Dots and Loops and Emperor Tomato Ketchup.  From 2002-2004, Lhote was a member of The Projects and she followed that project with a Garden, a side project featuring members of Simian Mobile Disco, before she started her own solo recording project, Hologram Teen.

Citing an incredibly diverse array of influences including MF DOOM, Francois De Roubaix, The GZAJudee Sill, ABBA, John Carpenter, Goblin, Gene Clark, E.L.O., Harpers Bizarre, King Tubby, Michel Legrand, Hot Chip, Supertramp, Luke Vibert, Martha and the Muffins, Soft Machine, Suzanne Ciani, Greg Kurstin and Chic, Lhote has described her latest project, Hologram Teen as “electronic music that’s playful and groovy (mostly influenced by disco and Italian horror soundtracks) with loads of diverse samples. This is a soundtrack to a movie where John Carpenter and Boris Karloff hang out at Studio 54 with German zombies dancing to ‘Thriller’ in the background.” She’s also jokingly described her sound as being “. . . like Fabio Frizzi meets Grandmaster Flash.”

Small, renowned label Deep Distance Records, a sister imprint of The Great Pop Supplement Records released Lhote’s most recent 7 inch “Post-Apocalyptecakes”/”Tracksuit Minotaur” earlier this month. “Tracksuit Minotaur” pairs layers of glimmering, undulating synths reminiscent of Giorgio Moroder, Kraftwerk‘s “Trans Europe Express” and John Carpenter soundtracks, skittering and stuttering drum programming, ominously swirling electronics and horror movie samples to craft a song that’s tense, danceable and sweepingly cinematic — while evoking dancing your cares away in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic world. “Post-Apocalypteacakes,” featuring Buddy Cop pairs a sinuous bass line reminiscent of Chic, skittering drum programming, layers of undulating synths and horror movie samples and industrial clang and clatter to craft a song that sounds equally inspired by Depeche Mode, Kraftwerk,  LCD Soundsystem‘s 45:33, and Snap!‘s “Rhythm Is A Dancer.”

Lhote specializes in what may arguably be some of the most unique electronic music I’ve heard in some time — it’s relentlessly difficult to pigeonhole into any particular subgenre and it meshes different genres and periods in an effortless and seamless fashion.