Two video collages created and scored by Ibex. The first features sounds from "War Zone Pirate Radio Transmissions Sent and Received." Eventually, each track from that album will have a video of its own. The second video features sounds from "Their Copy Hearts Beat at their Chests." Perhaps more videos from there to follow as well. All footage was taken from the Internet Archive.
Ibex Video 1 from Ibex on Vimeo.
Ibex video 2 from Ibex on Vimeo.
Friday, October 5, 2012
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Nate Wooley, Paul Lytton, and Ikue Mori - Live at The Chapel of the Holy Innocents, Bard College, 03/08/2011
Trumpeter Nate Wooley, percussionist Paul Lytton, and electronics/laptop noise-ateer Ikue Mori came together at Bard College in the spring of 2011 for this 40-minute improvised set, and I’m fairly sure this is the one and only recording that exists of the performance (thanks to Goro, I believe, for capturing it). Lytton's drumming swings from propulsive and cacophonous to nuanced and textural. Mori's electronics are scattering, piercing, and industrial-ish, with whooshing swarms of feedback and crumbling static thrum. Wooley, as always, proves himself to be an incredibly exciting horn player, relying almost as much upon the instrument to modify the sound of his breath as the opposite, and seamlessly shifting between dizzying free-jazz assaults and far subtler, more textural sound explorations. There is very little friendly about this piece. It’s unsettling, even hostile, and at times downright ferocious. It’s a thrilling listen, however, in part because all three performers seem truly in sync with one another on a really meaningful level, taking the piece in unexpected directions that just work. This kind of music and approach to performing can so easily fall flat and become aimless and meandering if all the performer’s aren’t at the top of their game. Luckily (and not at all surprisingly) Wooley, Lytton, and Mori knock it out of the park.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Altar Eagle is Brad Rose (who somehow finds the time for at least a half-dozen musical projects in addition to running the excellent Digitalis label) and Eden Hemming Rose, a husband-and-wife duo out of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Because Brad is best known for his work as The North Sea and with Ajilvsga, an unwary listener might sit down with an Altar Eagle album (in addition to this new one, there's also 2010's excellent "Mechanical Gardens" and a handful of cassette releases as well) prepared for nightmare dronescapes. They would be shocked then to find themselves instead listening to blissful electro-pop. Of course, this pop music is quite a bit scuzzier and more washed out than the pristine production you might find on, say, that new Purity Ring record, or the ultra-chilled sounds on the Digitalis-released "Ro Me Ro" by Paco Sala (another stellar album from this year). Industrial clatter and bitcrushed scree distort and warp these glistening pop gems, almost like someone rubbed a bunch of gravel over some long-lost Cocteau Twins LP. The husband-wife duo draws from a deep reservoir of influences here: The bass line on "Carousel Ocean" is a dub-y groove, "Digital Gold Futures" is as texturally dense as the best shoegaze, "Runaways" sounds like an ultra-cool Dark Wave classic, "No Spring Till Summer" is funky as hell, with lushly layered vocals and even some shades of New Wave, "Hologram" has an almost club friendly beat, albeit one that's deeply offset by vocodered vocals, and mangled production. It's hard to pick the standout tracks, because they're simply all so good.
"Nightrunners" is constantly surprising. Anchored more than ever by Eden's just-washed-out vocals and featuring more addictive hooks and woozily cathartic bursts than ever before, it's catchy, even danceable at times. Still, there's so much fantastic production work going on that it almost feels like time with the album is better spent picking up the nuances. In any case, the result is a gorgeous, haze-blasted piece of electro-pop. In a music scene glutted with sterilized, derivative synth-pop, it's an absolute relief when an album comes along that plays with conventions and reconfigures them in exciting ways like this one does. Maybe Brad Rose's hellish industrial soundscapes aren't too far removed after all. More than any album I've heard in recent memory, "Nightrunners" proves that there can be common ground between noise purists and indie-pop diehards. It's easily one of the best records of the year so far.