Like most L.A. musicians who frequent the East Side, Dumani’s musical influences are rooted in the past. Flashes of Big Star and Guided by Voices and are dispersed throughout the record, and the press sticker cites influence from Flying Nun era New Zealand and the Paisley Underground as well … in fact, this album reminds me a lot of the Cuts’ final album, From Here on Out, one of my favorite albums ever, though Exploding Flowers is rooted more in 1989 than in 1972.
July 26th, 2011 · No Comments
July 19th, 2011 · No Comments
Frank Fairfield might actually be from another universe that’s evolved different notions of time, past and future, old and new, and perhaps truth—he certainly plays old songs with old technology, and dresses old-style, that seems true.
June 28th, 2011 · No Comments
He started out in the early 90s as Butterfly of Grammy-winning, jazzy, smooth-rapping trio Digable Planets (remember who taught you how to be “Cool Like Dat?”), and then, after a seven-year hiatus, he returned as the singer of velvety electro-funk band Cherrywine. Six years later, he dropped twin EPs with Afro-Arabian imagery, Shabazz Palaces and Of Light, as the mysterious and press-evasive Palaceer Lazaro of Shabazz Palaces. Black Up is Butler’s debut LP as “Shabazz”—the first hip hop record ever for Seattle indie powerhouse Sub Pop—and here we find Ish at the top of his game
May 17th, 2011 · 2 Comments
This album is uplifting. During “Gracias A La Vida,” we become grateful for life’s gifts, our eyes, our hearts, her voice, which all sounds much lovelier in Spanish. We’re still experiencing that windy L.A. sunset, remember—Does not this green grass now look especially green? Does not this graffiti on the wall take on the vibrancy of flowers in a meadow? Am I floating? Everyone on the street smiles at you now, and you smile back because no one is creepy anymore, as long as this record plays.
April 28th, 2011 · No Comments
Endless Planets is the 20-year-old’s first album released stateside, and one that more readily recalls jazz history written by Charles Mingus and Max Roach than records spawned in the alternate reality of Madlib’s Yesterdays New Quintet. More often than not, Endless Planets laces up its desert boots and treads the same territory as McCoy Tyner’s Sahara.
April 25th, 2011 · No Comments
Migrating from the populated and frenetic, sweaty plains of her recent live performances, Ms. Jo Williams has descended into dank, wooded forests; the sun is fading. Here, there’s a walloping loneliness in her voice, as if there may not be anyone out there anymore, and even the crickets have gone quiet.
April 18th, 2011 · No Comments
Travis Cthulhu just got a whole lot more sinister on The Cthulhus’ third CD-R release, EVAPR8. This collection of sci-fi sound poems, strung together with bedroom rock, bent electronics and musique concrète, sounds less like Wavves and more like Trout Mask Replica or early Zappa, with perhaps an assist from Bruce Haack on drum machines, which could easily be lifted from a Baldwin ’70s home organ.
April 15th, 2011 · No Comments
Habitat’s most recent album is a derailed ghost train. It is a deformed Eno stripped to just a beat-box. It’s predominantly dark, moaning with echoes; the vocals are a grotesque dissonant timbre. “Put Your Baby on the Train” is Evol-like paranoia. I think of Dali’s Car or Swans, but Rich Eckersley and Kelly O’Hare, the duo who perform as Habitat, are in their own category.
April 13th, 2011 · No Comments
Hang Glider is one-person band who does everything himself. The result is impressive. Grab a copy of Hang Glider to accompany an evening lounging by the Jacuzzi with your hair in a side ponytail, playing games on your vintage Atari.
April 6th, 2011 · No Comments
This is an incredibly sophisticated and accessible record—commercial, but in a Brian Wilson kinda way. It takes colossal experience and skill to make something that sounds this effortless and natural. Bespoke is a high-point of Daedelus’ discography—fans will find the sounds they know and love, but this is the record that’ll open the minds of new listeners worldwide.