I’ve been really fascinated with the French cassette tape label Carpi Records for a few weeks now. They have a gentle aesthetic and release mainly ambient music that is heavy on atmosphere. One of their more recent releases comes from a project called Albino Deers and, in keeping with the internet age of anonymity, there is little information to be found about the identity of the person(s) behind the curtain.
Dealing mostly in looped samples, Albino Deers has crafted an album whose tone has a surprising range. Tracks like “Fleurs” and “Fur, Fur” feel like gently falling bits of snow ala the cover artwork while tracks like “Oliver” and “Decay” are downright ominous (the latter even includes some 1950’s sci-fi synth work). They even found a way to put the crackle of vinyl scratches to good use. Being one who doesn’t dabble in ambient music all that much I was surprised at how rapt I was by the album (perhaps the short runtime helped). I’ll most likely be revisiting this one again in the coming wintry months.
Wow, it’s been well over a year since the last time I featured anything from Mediafired. Since then the creative mind behind it and I have had a curious working relationship. We only communicated every couple of months with him sending me tracks every once in a while and me going “holy cow, this is awesome.” Other than Mediafired he has worked under numerous monikers like Spinning Beach Ball of Death, jccg, and most recently Sofa Pits (whose debut album is being released by Chill Mega Chill). Oh, and he also runs his own cassette tape label in Portugal called Exo Tapes. So yeah, busy guy, right!?
Earlier today he shot over this his latest release to me and whoa, dude’s stepped up his game. It’s called The Pathway Through Whatever and it’s easily his best work to date. Working primarily with samples, Mediafired is like 20 years worth of pop culture placed into a blender with the nob turned up to 10. His sample choices, his imagery, even the name he goes by is taken from the modern era, chopped and mashed up, and fed right back to culture that spawned it.
This sonic, internet-flavored milkshake is being released by the most awesome Beer On the Rug and I couldn’t think of a better suited roster for it if I tried. Stream the whole thing on their bandcamp site and then snatch a tape up quick.
Title: Echotourism 〜過ぎ去りしバカンス〜Artist: Shortcake Collage Tape165 plays
Shortcake Collage Tape // Third World Surf City
Oh man, this has got to be one of the greatest things to be dropped in my inbox in a while. Sent to me by a dude named Asuza Suga straight from Japan comes the latest release by Shortcake Collage Tape. Asuza runs the label Canata Records and thought that I’d dig on their latest release seeing how much I love Teen Runnings. All I can say is that the man totally called it.
Primarily sample-based music, Shortcake Collage Tape makes the sort of music that would fit comfortably somewhere between Monster Rally and Die Jungen. There is definitely a lo-fi 1960’s beach party vibe, but it is done with a electronic and Japanese twists (just wait for the vocal samples). Then the guitar flourishes come in, blurring the line between sample and recording. It’s such easy-going music that I could listen to it all day. The only problem is that the EP is so short! I guess I’ll just have to wait to see what they come out with next.
You can download the EP for free on the label’s website or bandcamp page. And give them a follow on Twitter while you’re at it too. Couldn’t hurt to see what they’ve got going on across the ocean.
Sorry for the double dose of music this weekend, but I have a ton of good stuff that I really want to share with you guys. Actually no, I’m not sorry because Spectral Park is way too good not to share no matter what day it is. I actually found my way to his bandcamp via Twitter. With no previous knowledge I began to listen to his five-song EP Factory Peeled and I was quite instantly hooked.
It’s important to note that this is all the work of one dude named Luke Donovan because of the sheer weight of his music. There is an immediacy here that acts as a sort of instant gratification that you can sink your teeth into, but it’s not until you sit down and really listen to these songs that you realize how tight and densely constructed they actually are. He writes these really classic pop hooks but he buries them in a treasure trove of ambiguously familiar noise. I know there is some heavy sampling going on here, but he weaves it so seamlessly into the rest of the music that it really gels together into one satisfying whole. I could keep rambling on about just how great this EP is, but I’m just going to insist that you download it for free and listen to it instead.
Yeah man, I don’t really even know how to introduce this kind of stuff, but I’ve been digging this a lot lately. If you were keen on those Chushi jams I posted awhile back, then you should find this pretty familiar. Chases after the same sort of abstraction. Very simple, repetitive, sample-based music that comes from another world. It’s almost like the deconstruction of music. And while it is very angular and choppy, there is something about it that goes down so smooth. And also like Chushi, this stuff managed to crawl all the way from Russia right into my ears. And there it shall stay. For some time at least.
In other news: it’s getting cold. Make sure you grab a sweatshirt before you go out!
It wasn’t a super long time ago that I was writing about Computer Dreams’ self-titled debut album. Since that time he’s attracted the attention of super good vibin’ label Beer On the Rug. They took the cream of the crop from that album and put it on a split with a similarly Mavis Beacon/Windows 95/Encyclopedia Encarta-lovin’ dude named Napolian (who is also no stranger to this blog). That split was like a monster shot of shimmering, corny nostalgia jammed straight into my veins. Fun time overload.
Now here we are only than a month later and Computer Dreams has his next release all ready to slide down the chute. It’s an album of twelve excellent (and untitled) tracks called Silk Road. The title proves rather appropriate since this thing is one of the smoothest listening experiences I’ve had all year. While he’s always built his sound around samples, on Silk Road here he takes it one step farther and makes the sound even more his own by further blurring the line between recycling and creation. The best part of this Computer Dreams’ music for me is that is awakens all these memories that I’d long since forgotten. It’s like I close my eyes and I’m six years old again watching Mannequin with my sister. Weird… where did that come from?
Gah! Thank you, Chushi whoever or whatever you are. You saved my sanity, at least for today. Now I don’t want to seem ungrateful or a snob, but lately my email submissions have been bringin’ me down. I’m not going to say that the music has been bad, but it really truly does not fit on this blog at all. I don’t dig on dubstep, singer/songwriters aren’t my thang, and all dark electronic music should kindly make its way to Unholy Rhythms. So I abandoned the inbox and stepped out on my own once again to do some digging. What I found was Chushi, the savior of my musical mind. All hail Chushi!
Now I don’t know if they are really from Russia as their sites say, but its irrelevant. What we have here is a release that lovingly reminds me of Run DMT’s Bong Voyage. And good Lord, if we all don’t know how much I love the Run DMT. The songs on Basf are sonic sample-based explorations of random thoughts and memories. Processed, chewed, and spit back out in short bursts of delicious sound. About 90% of the tracks here don’t even surpass the one-minute mark. Perfectly bite-sized if you’re feeling a bit ADHD inclined today. I’m thankful for Chushi because it has cleansed my mental palate. It’s wiped everything else away and left me feeling slightly foggy with a smile on my face.
Oh and did I mention that the dentist totally ruined my day prior to this?
All the way back in January I wrote about the curiously anonymous project simply known as 骨架的. What minimal contact I had with the creator left with little information about who was behind it. The only thing I really knew is that whoever it was was a only content when in constant evolution. Frequent moniker changes accompanied a generous flow of this weird (but highly alluring) music. Now here I again reliving that same situation (I think). In my email I found a link to download this self-titled album by someone that goes by Computer Dreams.
Like 骨架的 I have no clue who is behind these jams, nor do I care (maybe they’re the same person?). But what I do care about is listening to this album over and over again because it is seriously awesome. I don’t know how much of it is original material and how much is found/altered samples, but in a day of crazy musical collage work the dividing line is getting increasingly blurred. Now if you take a time machine back to the 1980’s and only bother to watch late-night television, teen movies, and infomercials then this is the sort of music you’d encounter. Synth heavy, silky creations of purely enjoyable cheese. If you were diggin’ on stuff like 骨架的 or Beer On the Rug’s last couple of releases, then you will definitely like Computer Dreams.
Jake Tobin (AKA Fruit Flesh) is the mastermind behind both this quirky and alluring track as well as its junglefied accompanying video. It’s kinda funny that the video opens up with a python slithering it’s way across the jungle floor because this track has a similarly serpentine quality to it. With each time that that saxophone sample crawls up and down its scale, you’ll find that it is also slowly worming its way into your brain.
Though he only has a few tracks under his belt, Fruit Flesh is proving to be a talented young artist with a really fresh creative edge. His weaves a his quirky bent into the very fibers of his music and the result is something truly wonderful. So keep an eye on him because he is really only getting started and I am predicting some exciting stuff from him in the future.
It wasn’t too long ago that I was writing aboutRimar’s first EP A, and now here we are getting our second fix with his new release, Higher Ground.
A little while ago he emailed me a track off this new EP and it immediately had me excited for what was to come.
This second release finds Rimar much more self-assured in his style than on A. Before he was pretty much sticking with beatmaking. And while he was pretty good at it, there were so many others doing a similar thing. Basically it was hard for him to stand out from the crowd. Well all that has pretty much changed with Higher Ground. Here Rimar is obviously expanding his sound. There is alot of funk going on here. If you are a fan of 1980’s smooth R&B then you should really enjoy this. His heavy use of sampling is still prominent, but here he uses it as a way of standing out. The whole release has this foggy almost velvet-like texture that makes it go down so much easier.
If you never checked him out before I HIGHLY recommend you do so now. You can download Higher Ground for free on his bandcamp.
Title: God Only Knows What I'd Be Without YouArtist: Galapagos110 plays
Galapagos // Big Cat
There are certain artists that grow on me with time. That’s not to say that I didn’t like them in the first place, but rather my appreciation for them grows with every new release. Galapagos (Jacob McNaughton) is one of those artists. His aquatic take on beat making never fails to make me think of summer vacation. Although his music isn’t necessarily summery, there is just this certain quality to his music that makes it feel water-logged like it’s been floating around in the ocean for awhile.
Coming off his recent EP Miracle Child, Jacob began working again right away (or rather never stopped working) on his next EP BIG CAT. Here he displays some of his strongest tracks to date. Hearing him manipulate samples into something completely new is a thing of beauty. It’s cool watching him progress. He keeps us right there with him as he hones his craft with each release being more solid than the last.
Here is a new track by a new project of Christian Filardo’s that he’s calling Good Amount. It sounds vaguely similar to the stuff that he was doing as Vladee Divacc, but it is much less of a sonic onslaught of noise than that other project. The sound of rain and several unidentifiable samples create a churning bed of noise for Christian’s otherworldly vocal layering. It’s a deeply affecting kind of music that plays out like the soundtrack to some sort of David Lynchian nightmare. I can’t wait until he’s released more under this banner.
This is just further proof that Christian is an interminable artist. The sheer amount of quality goodness flowing out of his camp never fails to amaze me. To keep tabs on him and all his artistic endeavors make sure you follow both his personal blog Habitual Glory as well as his free music label Holy Page Records.
When Tripp and I decided to start Chill Mega Chill the first artist we actually talked with about releasing a cassette was Jacob McNaughton AKA Galapagos. He seemed like a perfect fit for us, and he was eager to do a physical release. The product of that relationship was Jacob’s new EP, Miracle Child.
If you’ve listened to Galapagos before, then you probably have an idea of what to expect when heading into this EP, and for the most part Jacob delivers on that sound. However not content to linger, Jacob pushes his writing talent in new directions. Exploring sonic places that he never traveled to before (including a mind-blowing cover of “Earth Angel”). My favorite track on the EP though is called “Lost In Motion.” It doesn’t sound like his typically angular samples and beats, rather we get some smooth tropical synths that could easily have easily sailed their way right out of a 1980’s movie. It’s a perfect track for a summer mixtape.
As of today you can download Miracle Child for free on either the Chill Mega Chill bandcamp site, or on Jacob’s own bandcamp. And if you’ve sat on ordering a tape, you better act quick before they’re gone!
When I first listened to this EP by Babaar, I wasn’t sure exactly how to classify it. I suppose first and foremost Babaar is a beatmaker of sorts. His arsenal consists mostly of samples, but he doesn’t use them in the way that would expect someone of this genre to. Sometimes he is layering songs over each other in a mash-up sort of way, but to label him as a mash-up artist would be selling him short. There is a lot more heart here than just a collection of expertly crafted party jams.
On top of that, his samples are sometimes tinkered with to the point of near unrecognition. He also weaves and loops them together with the utmost precision creating something wholly his own. On his most recent EP, Secret Sole, he has put together these four tracks that really showcase not only his love of making music, but his love of music in general. Below you can hear his track “Hilary Duff” that really shows off his beat-making prowess. If you dig the stylings of recent artists like Moths or Galapagos, then I can see you enjoying Babaar also.