NIN Bad Witch

Nine Inch Nails' Bad Witch

Every band lucky enough to sustain itself for decades is often accompanied by a staunch fanbase who perceive their earlier days with greater fondness. To them, the band’s new sound pales in comparison to their favorite albums. But for any collective, a sonic evolution is not only inevitable, but healthy. Enter Nine Inch Nails, who are celebrating their 30-year anniversary with Bad Witch. In 2018, Trent Reznor has grown up, and his music has matured alongside him.

Published at Tiny Mix Tapes

White Ring

White Ring's Gate of Grief

White Ring members Bryan Kurkimilis and Kendra Malia have adopted the anthropological concept for their latest release, refiguring the phrase to refer to personal struggle. Suffering several issues that continued to hinder music production, Gate of Griefstarted to crystallize after the inclusion of vocals from Adina Viarengo. Following the EP Black Earth That Made Me, the band’s first release in eight years is both a time capsule and an egress from the confinements of the witch house genre to which they’re affixed. 

Published at Tiny Mix Tapes

oOoOO and Islamiq Grrrls

Pure Intuition Without Any Limits: An Interview with oOoOO and Islamiq Grrrls

oOoOO has released murky music since 2010 via Tri Angle and Disaro. Recently, he's fashioned an imprint, Nihjgt Feelings, allowing him to release music on his own terms. Islamiq Grrrls has come to music more recently, having shared "Yr Love"in late 2016. Their paths converged while both living in Berlin. oOoOO had taken a hiatus from the music industry, while Islamiq Grrrls was just starting to find her voice. Meeting proved alchemical, and in this interview, they share how productive working together has been for their upcoming album, Faminine Mystique (pronounced "Famine in Mystique".)

Published at Pop Matters

Venetian Snares x Daniel Lanois

Venetian Snares x Daniel Lanois

One of the aims of collaboration is to engage in dialogue through musical instruments. On Venetian Snares x Daniel Lanois, the musicians talk past each other, each carrying on with their own monologues. One can’t fault either artist for playing his sound; it’s just that these aesthetics don’t gel. If Snares eschews emotion, Lanois is indebted to it. If Snares is complexity incarnate, Lanois is distilled modesty. These are strengths that are realized individually but create discord in tandem.

Published at Tiny Mix Tapes

Alva Noto

Alva Noto's Unieqav

Headliner Alva Noto was slated to perform during the first of two Mutek Mexico City A/Visions programs. These events were more cerebral in nature, pairing innovative visual explorations with electronic sound as a contrast to the dance-oriented weekend. It was the perfect context for Alva Noto to unveil Unieqav, his latest exploration of audiovisual synthesis. Unfortunately, Alva Noto was having technical difficulties.

Published at Tiny Mix Tapes

Antenes

Antenes

There is a moment during Antenes’s Issue Project Room show, past where the static-y radio and telephone signals have crackled away, wherein the ominous, booming drones have subsided. From her surrounding menagerie of self-made synthesizers, Antenes lifts a rotary dial cannibalized from an ancient phone. She places it near a contact microphone and dials a single number. The dial whirs its slow churn, a technology many of us are familiar with, but few use. The sound emanating from within is alien, chilling, even unholy.  A century after Russolo, Antenes channels technological ghosts conjured from a bygone world.

Published at Tiny Mix Tapes

William Basinski

William Basinski at Issue Project Room

Basinski is playing the inaugural event for Issue Project Room’s 2017 fall season and celebrating his new release, A Shadow in Time. He unfurls the 8-second loop of “For David Robert Jones,” a requiem for the performer most know as David Bowie. Basinski’s ceaseless looping becomes ritualistic in order for listeners to appreciate its half-hour degradation. 

Published at Tiny Mix Tapes

Polica

Poliça and s t a r g a z e Get Political on Music for the Long Emergency

Gentle pizzicato strings pluck at the far ends of the stereo field. They cradle a closely-miked bass that captures fingers grazing, caressing its frets. Though the tempo is a glacial 75 beats per minute, the listener is flung right up against the recording studio amps. Singer Channy Leaneagh's voice enters a moment later, accompanied with a little underscore of a sound, whining low in the mix. This inaugural moment forms "Fake Like", introducing the Poliça-Stargaze collaboration Music for the Long Emergency, out 16 February. This interplay, both intimate and intense, is all over the album, an exchange that produces varying levels of success.

Published at Pop Matters

Eluvium

Eluvium's Shuffle Drones

An accomplished veteran of ambient music, Eluvium's work has earned him a distinguished spot on Pitchfork's "50 Best Ambient Albums of All Time". Shuffle Drones is a collection of two dozen orchestral snippets clocking in at roughly 30 seconds each, but its novelty results from how it is meant to be experienced – in shuffle mode.

Published at Pop Matters

Total Jazz

Total Jazz

Since the 1980s, comics veteran Blutch has penned enough drawings to fill nearly two dozen books. Blutch’s latest, Total Jazz, collects nearly a hundred pages of strips centering on the genre’s idiosyncrasies. His sketches show a clear love for the style and its biggest luminaries, but there are darker elements behind many of the jokes.

Published at Spectrum Culture

Morton Subotnick

Music As Studio Art: An Interview With Morton Subotnick

Morton Subotnick is one of the most significant figures in electronic music history. His seminal Silver Apples of the Moon emerged as the first fully electronic album ever recorded and has since been included in the National Recording Registry within the Library of Congress. This year, Subotnick celebrated its 50th anniversary with a three-day run at Lincoln Center in New York City.

Published at Decoder Magazine

Deradoorian

Deradoorian's Eternal Recurrence

Angel Deradoorian, most commonly associated with Bitte Orca-era Dirty Projectors, has been crafting her solo act for years. Both the 2009 EP Mind Raft and her 2015 full-length album, The Expanding Flower Planet, showcase her affinity for mellow, unobtrusive indie rock. Aside from that, she’s worked with an impressive and broad array of collaborators including Flying Lotus, Matmos, U2, Vampire Weekend, Charlie XCX, the Roots and Prefuse 73, experiences the chanteuse has internalized for her own material. But Eternal Recurrence isn’t another EP of rock ballads; it’s a radical shift in her sound.

Published at Spectrum Culture

Emily Haines

Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton's Choir of the Mind

Choir of the Mind returns Emily Haines to poignant piano-driven ballads that meld with her mellifluous voice, a sonic continuation of 2006’s Knives Don’t Have Your Back. A member of Metric and Broken Social Scene, it should be no surprise that Haines’ solo work is a departure from Metric’s 2015 effort, Pagans in Vegas, which found the band skewing toward a heavily electronic sound. Choir showcases Haines’ less bombastic songwriting, where she chooses to leave the songs in a more naked state instead of turning them into guitar anthems.

Published at Pop Matters

Rock in a Hard Place

Rock in a Hard Place: Music and Mayhem in the Middle East

For most Westerners, music functions largely as entertainment, even when the songs are politically charged. However, in the Middle East, just engaging with music, whether as a musician or as a fan, can come with severe costs. This is the subject of Rock in a Hard Place: Music and Mayhem in the Middle East, a sober chronicling of music in some of the most conservative countries on the planet.

Published at Pop Matters

Dean Hurley

Dean Hurley's Anthology Resource Vol. 1: △△

Twin Peaks is far from Hurley’s first gig with Lynch. The multi-instrumentalist has worked with the director since 2005, including sound work for Inland Empire and several of the director’s musical ventures like Crazy Clown Time and The Big Dream. An accomplished producer in his own right, Hurley has worked with Lykke Li, Dirty Beaches, Zola Jesus, and the Veils (a featured band in the new season).

Published at Pop Matters

Noah Preminger

Noah Preminger Talks About His Bold Jazz Protest Album, Meditations on Freedom

At just 30 years old, Preminger is a prolific jazz force with eight leader releases and six more as a sideman. His first album Dry Bridge Road earned Debut of the Year in the 2008 Village Voice Critics’ Poll and was named one of the top ten albums of the year in JazzTimesStereophile and The NationMeditations on Freedom contains five original compositions about freedoms the saxophonist felt were vanishing: Native American freedom, women’s rights, racial injustice, income inequality, and the planet’s health.

Published at Pop Matters

Tony Conrad

Maximal Minimal: The Legacy of Versatile Artist Tony Conrad

Few artists contained the sheer range of disciplines as Tony Conrad. In a career that spanned half a century, Conrad tried just about everything, with explorations in music, video, conceptual art, and even teaching. Conrad’s legacy put him among the rare breed of artists not content to stay boxed within a singular medium, working method, or subject matter. He was experimental in the truest sense of the word.

Published at Pop Matters

KMFDM

KMFDM's Hell Yeah

Few projects are as brashly political as KMFDM. Throughout their three-decade career, the rabble-rousers have continued to deliver aggressive industrial music that opposes rampant injustice and corruption. Keeping with the Bush-era critique WWIII and the Arab Spring-influenced Our Time Will Come, the band’s 20th studio album Hell Yeah is a stirring, brutal rally cry against fascism, conformity, and America’s new administration.

Published at Pop Matters