i think its about experimental music. .. ... .... ..... ...... ....... ........ ......... .......... ...........

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

EP Review: mangulicaFM – Third Eye

A lot of attention has been heaped this year on young basement DJs and hip-hop prodigies who have successfully leveraged the newest tech toys and viral word-of-mouth to their full advantage. While those artists’ skills are of course impressive, sometimes it’s just more interesting to hear from a producer whose inspiration comes from somewhere slightly deeper than a swimming pool of “#firstworldproblems.” Enter 22-year-old Serbian producer Luka Papic, a.k.a. mangulicaFM, who grew up in Belgrade – a longtime focal point of political and economic upheaval. His new six-track EP, “Third Eye,” is available now as a free Bandcamp download.

You can see history’s influence on the album cover (a counterculture nod to the Bulgarian flag) and the song titles (“Crnjanski” presumably honors the social-political poet/diplomat of the same name). More importantly, you hear it in the tracks, which build upon Serbian samples and folk themes (song 2, “Hromi Daba,” is the name of a Slavic deity), then layer on dark synths, a smattering of vocals, and chopped up dub reggae-like beats.

Regardless of how much (or how little) you care about mangulicaFM’s roots, “Third Eye” is an aural treat for any experimental beat junkie. It’s like something Burial or DJ/rupture might make if they had grown up in the woods vs. endlessly rainy cities, and had shorter attention spans (all the songs are under three minutes long). “Naputuholesterola” (don’t ask how it’s pronounced) may be the most accessible: this closer is a serious head-bobber that could easily fit into a Forest Swords mixtape or Flying Lotus DJ set.

mangulicaFM, who cites Tom Waits, RZA and Monolake as key influences, recently moved to Hamburg, Germany to study film. Hopefully, this just means someday he’ll be able to deliver a full A/V set that incorporates the Serbian folklore that inspires his decidedly modern sound.

--Elaine Ordiz

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Walter Gross and Lost and Found Sound Split

Starting in Baltimore and moving to Los Angeles, Walter Gross has been making dark, ambient tape loops and beats, along with album art and his own brand of video montage for quite a while now. His latest release is a split with the Arizona artist Lost and Found Sound. The album contains ambient medleys and soundscapes from Gross, a collection of sounds that combine to create a different world of experience and new meanings. In the opening track: Poor Man Blues, for instance, re-contextualized samples of a black folk tune, over dark, moody bass and drums give a different feel to the familiar blues track. A sample monologue from the film Slacker comes in and the idea becomes clear: the benefit of struggle, finding what your made of, etc. Other tracks are more minimal, using nature sounds, instruments, mixer feedback, samples, effects, etc. that, together, seem to hint at something distant and dream like. Side B features unique tape/electronic hardware manipulations from Lost and Found Sound.
The album can be purchased from Gross's website, where you'll also find all the cool videos he produces. He also has a Soundcloud and Bandcamp page with past work that are worth checking out.

Here's a beautiful video clip made by Walter for "Alone" off of the split:

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Ed Wrzesien - "Choas Atlantis"

Ed Wrzesien's new project, "Choas Atlantis," is a generative music program developed by Wrzesien that uses oceanic data to create ambient music. Ed explains: "My idea was to pull ocean marine data from the NOAA data buoy website and feed that data into sound generating algorithms. I ended up using the music programming language, Supercollider, to create the sounds. Starting simple, I began using the water and air temperatures to choose the tonic pitches of my tone arrays. If the air temperature was 79.4 degrees Fahrenheit, I would multiply 79.4 * 10 to get a tonic pitch of 794Hz. I used the water temperature similarly to control the pitch of my more “noisier” sounds. The wait times between notes are divided by wind speed. For example, some sounds wait 5 seconds divided by wind speed before another sound is played; the higher the wind speed, the faster the tempo of the music. The dominant wave period is used to choose from several arrays of multipliers that make up different tonal scales. The wave heights are used to control amplitudes of oscillators in a variety of contexts. In short, this is a combination of data sonification and chance operations. All of it is steered by real time weather events."
It may just be the knowledge of how these sounds are created, but one gets the sense there are forces at work that are outside of our control, giving the music an almost ominous feel. Here's a soundcloud excerpt:

Sunday, October 2, 2011

True Aristocrats - "Susurrus"

The two piece prog/experimental band from Fort Collins, True Aristocrats, have an interesting handful of EPs and albums (one of which, Haruspex Cremisi EP, was made entirely in 24 hours). Their latest release is Susurrus. From ethereal electronics, furious metal rhythms, quiet, dark acoustics, to noisy guitar-effected ambiance and back again, Susurrus is like riding a sonic roller coaster made of right angles.

While a direct comparison would not be fair, fans of Mr. Bungle, The Mars Volta, and maybe Hella would do well to have a listen. Their catalog can be streamed and downloaded (name your price) from their bandcamp page. Here's a track off of Susurrus:

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Wax Fingers - "Pierre Fauchard" Video

I think this was kind of eclipsed by the Radiohead video I posted the same day. So, here it is again... because I can do that.

Wax Fingers - Pierre Fauchard from Aaron King on Vimeo.