Maximum Balloon‘s first single, “Tiger” (the promising track that’s teased in the above clip, and features Aku from Dragons of Zynth), will be available on iTunes tomorrow—the first in a series of digital releases leading up to Dave Sitek’s debut LP on August 24. You can also check out a scantily-clad version of the song here.
For up-to-the-minute updates on Sitek’s solo project, keep refreshing his home page over the coming weeks. Here’s the list of confirmed contributors so far:
Judging by the fact that their server crashed a couple times in the past week, some of you must know about the exclusive xx mix available from our friends at The Pop Manifesto right now along with features on Neon Indian, Smith Westerns and Pantha Du Prince. Carefully compiled for the lovers in the audience by singer/multi-instrumentalist Romy Madley Croft, it features slow jams from Chromatics (“I’m On Fire”), Massive Attack (“Protection”) and 13 other smooth operators. (UPDATE: TPM‘s down again, so we’ve posted Romy’s mix for your streaming/downloading pleasure below. Just be sure to tip your server on the way out by reading the actual issue, as we consider The Pop Manifesto one of the few ‘digital magazines’ worth reading…outside of self-titled, of course.)
In semi-related news, the trio’s main producer, Jamie Smith, unveiled his contribution to a Colette comp last month. The limited CD pressing is pretty pricey, though, so we’ve taken the luxury of uploading the MP3 version below. As you can probably tell from the tracklisting, it’s got some of the past year’s strongest electronic singles on lock, from Darkstar’s “Aidy’s Girl Is a Computer” to that Joy Orbison jam “Hyph Mngo.”
If Alfred Hitchcock produced avant-techno records instead of mood-altering movies, they’d sound a lot like the boogie monster beats of Demdike Stare, a British duo best described by the following mix:
And if that’s not enough for you, Sean Canty (Finders Keepers) and Miles Whittaker (Pendle Coven, MLZ) also gave us a run-through of their favorite records at the moment after the jump…
The Vaselines—a.k.a. a band we only know about because of Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged album—have finally gotten around to finishing their second album. Due out September 14 through Sub Pop, Sex With an X features a salacious record sleeve and 12 slices of “good clean smut with a twist of bitter.” Indie pop jams, in other words. Seriously; we’re listening to the stream right now and already singing along/dancing with ourselves.
The back story via Sub Pop:
Recorded outside Manchester at the Analogue Catalogue studio in Mossley with Julie McLarnon engineering and produced by Jamie Watson who produced that first album Dum Dum, Sex with an Xwas recorded the old-fashioned way: twelve songs in thirteen days (plus two b-sides). The Vaselines ca. 2010 is Eugene and Frances with guest musicians Stevie Jackson and Bob Kildea from Belle & Sebastian on guitar and bass, and Michael McGaughrin from the 1990s on drums. It may have taken The Vaselines 20 years to get round to making this baby, but it was worth the wait—bringing their solo careers to a climax. The irony has not been lost. Who says indie music can’t be fun?
Certainly not us. Check out the cover (a shot that’d stir David Lynch’s loins, no doubt), song titles, tour dates, and the album’s lead-off single after the jump…
Finally. As much as we love Black Mountain‘s myriad side projects—especially Pink Mountaintops‘ last LP—self-titled‘s thrilled to hear that the band’s finally ready to release their third full-length record. Due out September 14 through Jagjaguwar, Wilderness Heart features some serious co-producers (Dave Sardy and Randall Dunn, who’ve worked with everyone from Sunn O))) to LCD Soundsystem) and a laundry list of influences that won’t make a lick of sense until we actually hear the damn thing. That includes the following: “New Order, King Crimson, Studio 54, Alex Chilton, sunshine, Janis Joplin, Please Kill Me, Shirley Collins, Mickey Newbury, jalapeno salsa, Night of The Hunter, Cactus Taqueria, Funky16Corners podcasts, Dennis Wilson, [and] the house blowing up in the desert at the end of Zabriskie Point.” Or as a press release explains it even further:
The new record is packed with succinct rock songs that pulse and pound with startling precision: it pummels you, you ask for more. Wilderness Heart is arguably Black Mountain’s tightest, most concentrated outing, but there’s still plenty of raw rock energy at work. It’s their most metal and most folk oriented record so far. It’s a Black Mountain pop record, which is to say it’s nothing like pop at all.
Fair enough. For now, you might want to just listen to the new track after the jump, a little pavement-peeling single called “Old Fangs.” A stack of summer tour dates were also just announced.
Like his hero Aphex Twin, Solvent squeezes an incredible amount of emotion out of nothing but synths and samplers. At least that was the case on his two-disc Demonstration Tape collection, a decade-spanning retrospective that could have been called Soul of a New Machine…if Fear Factory hadn’t taken the title way back in 1992. The recently-released Subject To Shift, Solvent’s second proper LP for Ghostly—the previous one being 2004′s Apples & Synthesizers—takes the moody machine template of his earlier work to another level by applying shifty electro/coldwave/avant-techno beats to realms usually reserved for the Faint (“Don’t Forget to Phone”), Kraftwerk (“Formulate,” “Caught a Glimpse”) and, err, black-metal (the demon-derived vocals of “Take Me Home”). And then there’s “Loss For Words,” the closest producer/singer Jason Amm has ever come to crafting a straight-up synth-pop song, as opposed to a straight-up synth-pop song that’s haunted by the nightmares of Johnny 5 from Short Circuit.
Solvent sparks a rare U.S. tour at Wierd’s weekly New York party—the one helmed by this guy—tonight, so we spoke to him at length about everything from the second-coming of electroclash to the sorely-overlooked basslines of Skinny Puppy. The Toronto-based musician also let us premiere the video to “Loss For Words,” one of the most heartbreaking animated shorts we’ve seen since Radiohead’s “Paranoid Android” clip. Real talk.
Not to kiss Matmos‘ collective ass or anything, but we’re beyond honored to present the following collection of pause-button edits. (Yep, a mix of cassettes entitled “Rewind the Crystal Shells.”) We’d be surprised by the duo’s unconventional approach if they hadn’t spent the last 15 years stitching together samples of surgeries (A Chance To Cut Is a Chance to Cure), folky/frosty field recordings (The Civil War, Björk’s Vespertine era), a mighty mouse (Rat Location Program) and, well, the list goes on. Hell, Drew Daniel and Martin Schmidt’s last record, 2008′s Supreme Balloon LP, was special because it was rather ordinary—an “ALL synthesizer” album according to their longtime label Matador.
Daniel is tearing through his tenure bid at John Hopkins University (he’s an English professor there) at the moment, but he still found the time to write us a little commentary below. He also had this to say about Matmos’ upcoming release schedule:
“There is another collaborative 12-inch LP by Matmos/Wobbly/Jay Lesser called Simultaneous Quodlibet, which will be coming out really soon on Important Records, and Martin’s other band Instant Coffee! just put out their debut vinyl only LP on the Algha Marghen/Planam label from Italy…We are working on a new Matmos album proper for Matador, but it’s going to take years to finish because it’s kind of elaborate.”
Hmmm, sounds like they’re up to…something. For now, there’s always Treasure State, a freshly-pressed collaboration with So Percussion. (Le) Poisson Rouge hosts a record release show for its special brand of madness tonight.
Well it looks like Best Coast beat their buddy Wavves in the race for summer’s gnarliest record cover. The sleeve in question is over there on the left, channeling long-forgotten road trips alongside Snacks, the blog-list celebrity/little putty cat of Best Coast captain Bethany Cosentino. Due out on July 27 through Mexican Summer, Crazy For You features a fan favorite (“When I’m With You”) as a bonus track but otherwise avoids the easy route of remastering/repackaging the duo’s string of limited singles. That’s right—we’re getting 12 new blink-and-you’ll-miss-’em pop songs here, as produced by Lewis Pesacover of Fool’s Gold/Foreign Born.