Saturday, August 29, 2015

Novampb - Too Cool For Words (2015)

Another new artists to Spacerockmountain sent in by a returning label. This time it is the Recife, Brazil-based label, Transtorninho Records. You know, the dudes that released Lindberg HotelAmandinho and 151515. So you gotta bet this'll be good too.

Novampb is an electronic artist from the Brazilian coastal city of Maceió. The songs he makes are lo-fi IDM or glitch, composed with an excellent sense of dramatic timing. They come of as incredibly cinematic works on the base and then through a deft use of sampling spoken word audio he's added a feeling of disembodied otherworldliness. I'm told he's putted these clips from youtube, and sounds like a kindred soul spending too many hours listening to sounds pour out of a computer. It takes me back to when I first became familiar with lo-fi electronic music from the artists like Ocelote Rojo, Turning Torso and LAY BAC. Of course all of these have their own flavors and while it can be hard to put Novampb's style into words your ears won't have any issue identifying its unique charms. I recommend giving all of Too Cool For Words for word a listen and don't stop before the end, as the final two tracks are my favorites.

To be had here:
Novampb - Too Cool For Words

Friday, August 28, 2015

Gui Gui Sui Sui - Write Me A Death Letter (2015)

Trying to get discipline back, gonna write stuff up. Or I am just joshing you all and I'll stay lazy and quiet, not sure yet. Did manage to get this done...

Another far flung submission from Hong Kong's Metal Postcard Records (you might recall them from a Grab Bag a whole ago, the band Napolleon). This time we've got an outfit from Beijing known by the assonance-heavy name, Gui Gui Sui Sui. The album does a good job at avoiding any genres for a prolonged time, causing it to sound like an erratic exploration. This is something I totally approve of, by the way. Perhaps the most immediately noticeable quality of Gui Gui Sui Sui is how they sound like a bluesy noise rock outfit from Memphis or Texas rather than hailing from the Chinese capital. These musicians have studied up on their delta blues and 90s garage rock revival for sure. Even neater yet, they've thrown in some 8-bit sounds and bizarre electronic squeals and hums, making everything all the more beautifully muddled and hard to place.

To be had here:
Gui Gui Sui Sui - Write Me A Death Letter

Friday, August 21, 2015

EP Grab Bag vol. 101

Back to basics with 101. One of the main things I've enjoyed about writing this blog over the years is the combination of new and returning artists that I get to experience. Hearing evolution and new beginnings all the time. So with that in mind here are a few new artists to the blog and a couple of returning favorites.

To be had here:
Lindberg Hotel - Cotton Chains (2015)

The second entry from this lo-fi band out of Curitiba, Brazil.  Do check out their prior work, but I can't imagine a better introduction to the band than this EP. Has three new songs and two covers, including an exceptionally good cover of the Velvet Underground's "I'll Be Your Mirror." Now, the first three tracks with you having them pegged as a power pop outfit that can do a fine cover, but listen to the final two to hear how warped and experimental they can be. A fine juxtaposition and some really really good musicianship.

Cities - Manning Alaska EP (2015)

A stunningly done post-rock experience from a Welsh band. The EP is remarkably accessible, even for the those who don't often listen to post-rock. This is because the songs are quick while being equally spacey and jazzy. The technically precision is akin to my buddy Frankacles's band Jura. I don't say this lightly, as Jura really had their ducks in a row. Not an album to be missed by most anyone, but certainly a must-hear for the post-rock fans.

Nevski - Nevski (2015)

French pop music is some of the damned best stuff ever. I always make sure there's a heathy supply of it playing at any place I work and any party where I can chose music at. That said, Nevski is not making a knock off of yé-yé from the 1960s, rather is a charming display of modern indie pop that happens to be sung in lovely French lyrics. The songs are all impeccable with some light, air musicianship and soft, sweet vocals. Really the sort of music that sells itself, just give it a listen.

Bicycle Day - City Streets (2015)

Here's a special treat, a new EP from Oakland's Bicycle Day. Some of you might recall their full-length, I Had A Place To Be, which came out July of 2014. A wonderful example of hazy garage rock causing me to eagerly look forward to hearing this new release. These four songs do nothing to disappoint, being fuzzy gems of post-punk-ish, droning rock. The track "Self-Help" has been my jam all day, and I doubt it'll stop being so quickly.

YONI YUM - Clam Glam (2015)

The second time I'm writing of this band as well. YONI YUM still very much strike me as an art rock project, albeit of an incredible self-aware and irreverent variety. The songs are catchy and the singer is remarkably talented at belting out all sorts of entertaining vocal flourishes. I listening to it while reading the Russian Futurist writings of Daniil Kharms and it was amazing how well these two different version of eccentric artistic expression gelled.

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Black Waves - Thousands of Visions (2013)

Took a snooze on the blog for a bit there. Got burnt out writing too often; it was all blurring together. The unbearable heat has been keeping me out of my house as well. Hard to listen to as much new music if I'm not forcing myself to be all cooped up in my apartment reading books and playing albums. Been made to hide from the humidity and sunshine in bars, friends' houses, and even working extra long hours. Yet tonight I'm feeling guilty as the submissions roll on in and I need some lo-fi for my mental health.

Although it isn't a brand new album, Thousands of Visions, is worth doubling back for. I've always felt that lo-fi rock is a rather universal medium, it is after all what young musicians are capable of producing with the most minimal of technology in most any place. Nevertheless, like many forms of artistic expression, the French excel at lo-fi rock. Now, admittedly this band isn't particularly French sounding, as they sing in English, with an accent that somehow combines the UK and northeastern America. What is very French they know what the fuck they're on about. The Black Waves have an incredible grasp of psychedelic rock and shoegaze. Wall of sound, organs, cymbals just pounding away as necessary and a singer that could've fronted for any righteous garage rock outfit from the 60s (the Monks and 13th Floor Elevators come to mind). My recommendation is that you find a few good beers and try them out and you enjoy this album with some nice headphones. Rattle your brain around a bit.

To be had here:
The Black Waves - Thousands of Visions

Friday, August 7, 2015

Soft Cure - SAD (2015)

The man behind Soft Cure, the Albertan called Seth Cardinal, is known to me to way of his no wave project preformed with his younger, female family members, the Basement Demons. His songs under the moniker of Soft Cure did show up in a Grab Bag that Elvis wrote, but this is really my first exposure to it. Nonetheless it sound markedly familiar. Perhaps this is a byproduct of listening to so much quirky lo-fi pop music over the years, or rather, as I prefer to think, it is because the songs themselves are conveying a cozy, homespun and purposefully nostalgic feeling.

The artist didn't tell me why he named this album SAD, but I already have my own theories as to why. Nostalgia is an innately sad concept, a vague and ephemeral emotion. It seems like it should be a product of longing over the past, but it doesn't need to be. The songs Soft Cure has made here are good evidence of that, for despite having never heard them before they still invoked a powerfully retrospective stance to form in my mind. Technically the songs are quite simple instrumental tunes. They're fuzzy, echoey and even charmingly upbeat most of the time, but the secret to the appeal is the very bedroom pop nature of a young man holed up with a set of instruments and a computer to make something tingly and cute to share with us all. I truly enjoyed every moment of SAD.

To be had here:
Soft Cure - SAD

Monday, August 3, 2015

Dommel Mosel - Crybaby (2015)

There's been times in the past I've espoused theories that my mental health waxes and wanes to some degree with how much and what sort of music I'm listening to. Usually it is an exceedingly gluttonous amount, only justifiable by having a blog wherein I praise the albums I enjoy and act as if I am contributing to a discourse. Yet this still can become a taxing and destabilizing effort in and of itself, causing me to pull back. This is what last month was for me. Disorientating and blurry overall, and a profound sense of unproductiveness.... Then the unavoidable evening where I'm going stir crazy while being mildly agoraphobic all at once and I rediscover music. This time the harbinger was Dommel Mosel.

Despite seeming like the name of an individual artist, Dommel Mosel is actually a band from Birmingham, Alabama that plays the songs of a fella called Adam Measel. I'm not sure what to make of them, really they've thrown me for a bit of a loop. I keep listening to them and enjoying the songs each time and all the time finding their sound charmingly perplexing. It's like they're doing two things at once, playing lo-fi garage-like rock music and making sweet singer-songwriter pop. Like Mark Sultan and Sondre Lerche all mixed together, or whatever examples work best for you. There album, Crybaby, is a lengthy effort and has many permutations of this combined sound. However, some tracks really nail it exceptionally well. Firstly, "I'm Afraid I Can't Stay" is a shimmery masterpiece with a unforgettably pleasing reframe of 'wahhh-wahhh-wahhh.' Then there's "Easy Come" wherein he sings the word 'greasy' in a way that's remarkable and my older brother would appreciate very much as it's how he says it. Finally, I can't shake the feeling that "Oh, Whoa" is a sweet rock anthem. Of course with even more continued listening I'm sure I'll out more songs I adore.

The album has been issued in cassette format by Happenin' Records, from which you can purchase it for a paltry $5, or naturally via bandcamp digitally.

To be had here: