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

Isley Brothers and Santana

The Isley Brothers and Santana's Power of Peace

At a time of substantial political and social upheaval, Peace positions itself as a message of love and unity over hate and division. The musicians clearly care about their chosen source material, and as a result, the album features faithful recreations of stirring originals like the Chambers Brothers’ “Are You Ready People” and “Love, Peace, Happiness”, Eddie Kendricks’ “Body Talk”, and Leon Thomas’ “Let the Rain Fall on Me”.

Published at Pop Matters

Nine Inch Nails

Nine Inch Nails' Add Violence

With many forms of media competing for our attention, releasing an album these days doesn’t have the impact it once had. For Nine Inch Nails, breaking up an album’s worth of music into a trilogy of smaller EPs sustains fan excitement and diffuses pressure on creating a singular, definitive statement. It also allows the duo of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross to take bigger risks.

Published at Metal Sucks

World Listening Day

World Listening Day Remembers Electronic Pioneer and Deep Listening Creator Pauline Oliveros

This year’s World Listening Day celebrates Pauline Oliveros, the late pioneering electronic musician who conceived Deep Listening, a practice of intentional aural concentration incorporating aspects of meditation and improvisation. Often, Deep Listening is coupled with evolving electronic or electroacoustic music to strengthen its effects. The point is to pause and observe minute changes in the music, or if music is absent, the listening environment.

Published at Pop Matters

Gaudi

Gaudi's Magnetic

Gaudi’s entire career is one long love letter to dub music. Dub, characterized by sparse drums, murky bass, and generous amounts of delay and reverb, emerged from reggae and forms the bedrock of UK grime, has influenced Burial’s brooding, apocalyptic atmospherics, and spawned modern dubstep’s excessive onslaught of aggressive bass assaults. But Gaudi isn’t interested in these developments. He’s content to dig into the classic ‘70s sound.

Published at Pop Matters

Evan Caminiti

Evan Caminiti at Issue Project Room

 

Evan Caminiti’s Toxic City Music is a collection of heavily processed sound collages, contemplative drones primarily informed by the towering metropolis of New York City. But the record is also a personal expression of frustration and helplessness. Caminiti calls the album “a direct indictment of the world around me,” which can be interpreted both as a criticism of America’s teeming urban center but also at recent global shortcomings.

Published at Echoes and Dust

Cal Fish

The Whimsical and Grotesque Tape Manipulations of Cal Fish

The aim of Fish’s method is to parse the rampant media around us into an organized format for a new kind of consumption. Fish states that “Cassette Traveler is the convergence of my whimsical, existential, and practical expressions about everything going onto a magical magnetic medium.” Judge for yourself. “You’re kNot Next Door” introduces squelchy tape fast-forwarding and degraded, faint percussion. There are multiple elements that don’t jive with each other, as if everything were running at their own tempos and in clashing keys. 

Published in Decoder Magazine's Second Issue

Suzanne Ciani

Suzanne Ciani: The Emotion of Sound

Suzanne Ciani has been on the electronic music frontlines since the seventies. A prominent figure on the West Coast, Ciani worked with Don Buchla as he developed his legendary Buchla modular music systems. Instantly enamored with its sonic possibilities, she became an expert in designing modular patches, becoming a lifelong devotee.

Published in Decoder Magazine's Second Issue

Maelstrom

Maelstrom Chats Raar Label, Desert Raves, Self-hypnosis

French electronic producer Maelstrom specializes, as his moniker would suggest, in overt menace. Co-owner of the RAAR imprint, Maelstrom’s gritty distortion and aggressive synths are omnipresent in his latest effort, Her Empty Eyes, with antagonistic song titles like ‘The Murder of Jose Robles’ and ‘Woman Training for a Republican Militia.’

Published at Echoes and Dust

Moogfest

Moogfest Elevates Elecronic Festivals to Cerebral Heights

Electronic music festival Moogfest welcomes an exciting roster to Durham, North Carolina for its 11th edition. Among the 150 artists are Animal Collective, Flying Lotus, Mykki Blanco, Talib Kweli, Michael Stipe of R.E.M., Simian Mobile Disco, and Gotye. The schedule is packed from May 18th to 21st, with workshops, conversations, film screenings, live scorings, installations, and presentations by instrument creators. 

Published at Echoes and Dust

The Black Angels' Death Song

The Black Angels' Death Song

Their first album in four years, Death Song continues The Black Angels’ tradition of groove-based psychedelic rock and trippy op-art album covers. It’s familiar territory for their fifth full-length release, continuing the exploration of their last LP, Indigo Meadow, which itself was a return to the roots of their first album, Passover.

Published at Echoes and Dust

Architectural's "Metropolitan Opera"

Architectural's Metropolitan Opera

Architectural constructs minimal techno tracks asserting the traditional European sound. Releases like last year’s Elastic Layouts and Architectural 07 are competent dub and Detroit constructions, but Metropolitan Opera lifts producer Juan Rico’s imagination to another plane. Its seven tracks are distilled and attuned sound collages, more in the freeform vein of Murcof and Evan Caminiti than fellow European DJs Oscar Mulero and Mikkel Metal. 

Published at Decoder Magazine

Evoking Kerouac Dumbsaint's Cinematic Opus 'Panorama, in Ten Pieces'

Evoking Kerouac: Dumbsaint's Cinematic Opus Panorama, in Ten Pieces

In 1958, Jack Kerouac listed 30 guidelines for executing better prose, providing valuable insight as to how the celebrated writer approached his craft. A proponent of Allen Ginsberg’s “first thought, best thought” philosophy, Kerouac championed unedited writing as one way of accessing the subconscious, and his often raw prose shows it. Kerouac was also a fan of creating words, as in his sixth instruction: Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind.

Published at Pop Matters

NoinoNoinoNoino’s 8

NoinoNoinoNoino’s 8

“Supergroups” or even any true collaboration can be a hazardous propositions, but fortunately they often enough bear fruit. NoinoNoinoNoino’s 8 cassette for Caoutchou Records documents one exemplary success. The collaboration brings together Kiki Hitomi’s freaky avant J-pop, Dead Fader’s sinister bass music, DJ Die Soon’s skittering experiments, and DJ Hotel’s dark electro hip hop.

Published in Decoder Magazine's Second Issue

Dane Law's "r.bit"

Dane Law's r.bit

First you make a roux. The adage of cajun and creole cooking is so familiar that it can even be applied to music. If the story is to be believed, Dane Law discovered an Orbit techno tape in an abandoned car off a North West England highway — a relic that would provide the source material roux to produce r.bit, a collection of disfigured tracks chopped and splintered beyond recognition. Aside from Orbit, the sound emerges from the murky world of Chain Reaction and Basic Channel by way of Autechre.

Published at Decoder Magazine

Glenn McDonald

On Wandering the Paths of a Spotify Analyst's Mad Music Map

Have you ever wondered how many music genres there are? Spotify data analyst Glenn McDonald has an answer to the question—and he’s built the map to illustrate it. Every Noise at Once catalogues over 1,500 genres ranging from the esoteric (modern uplift, deep discofox, power violence) to the outright bizarre (solipsynthm, terrorcore, and something called catstep).

Published at Pop Matters

Raving Iran

How Two DJs Are Defying the Iranian Government with Techno

Since the late 1970s, the Iranian government has regulated many of life’s pleasures, including music. Imam Khomeini considered the art “no different than opium” — a sentiment that was echoed in a conservative Iranian newspaper: “Whoever acquired the habit [of music] can no longer devote himself to important activities. It changes people to the point of yielding to vice.” Live performances halted for a decade. Music schools shuttered.

Published at Hyperallergic

Tristan Perich

Tristan Perich: Working Inside 1-Bit's Insane Limits

Personal computers stand as one of the most substantial inventions of the 20th century, to some great extent because of how they’ve reframed our very identities. Our laptops, tablets and phones intersect with many branches of our lives, especially the methods by which we entertain ourselves.

Published at Decoder Magazine