An appropriately slippery music video for a band whose music is just as precious and ephemeral as a city made of ice. Houses’ brand of soft bedroom-pop seems to come from the saddest, sweetest impulses, the feeling that life is far from perfect and that, ultimately, that’s okay. There’s a wisdom to their music, a subtle authority in their message. The juxtaposition of hushed vocals and steady, yet capricious beats works to put you in a certain place, gives you a kind of stop-and-smell-the-roses mood, makes you think about your little life both before and after the moment you pressed play.
This one is straight from the great music archives. In 1966, Steve Reich discovered a curious phenomenon that occurs when the same sound loop is put into a stereo track, with the left track slightly slower than right. After listening for a few minutes, the original sound loop becomes very distant, replaced by a seemingly new sound created by the phasing overlap. Close your eyes and listen to this track with either a good stereo or headphones.
I apologize for the myspace link, its pretty difficult to find a decent .mp3 of this track.
Steve Reich- Come Out
Toro y Moi’s new album “Freaking Out” and Neon Indian’s “Era Extrana” were released last Tuesday. These poster boys of the 2010-2011 ‘chillwave’ movement demonstrate how the trad has evolved.
Neon Indian’s new album resembles “Psychic Chasms” in its use of warped disco sounds, but seems to have taken a necessary, mature evolution by putting more emphasis on pleasant sounding melodies than in his first album. The album is relatively short (42 minutes) which allows just enough time for each song to develop and end. “Polish Girl”, “Era Extrana” and “Suns Irrupt” deserves thorough listens.
Toro y Moi’s new album has the same upbeat, funkadelic, easy-going attitude as in his first album, but (like Neon Indian), seems to have matured greatly (musically, not lyrically). His songs are shorter and more to the point, but still inspire goofy dancing and no-stress.
So the best way I can describe these guys is: sandwiches. Specifically in regards to their production technique, which is fairly original in the world of hip-hop. Essentially they lay a simple(ish) beat, MC over that, then a completely different melody/rhythm takes front stage over the rapping. The product is a fine mixture of techno/post-dubstep and indie-gangster hip-hop. This video is a bit strange, but it demonstrates the twisted experimental attitude of the group.
This music video for the Active Child/How to Dress Well collaboration, “Playing House,” is the stuff white R&B nerds’ dreams are made of.
An Argument with Myself has all the wit and wordplay that’s come to define Lekman’s style, though this time around, he’s added even more pizazz, telling hyper-specific anecdotes that are at once sad and hilarious, cryptic and wise. And the music is spiced up too, sporting reggae-style guitars and brief synth hits. Though short, this EP seems worth the wait, all four years of it.
Listen to and download the five songs from Jens Lekman’s new EP, An Argument with Myself below.