Category Archives: Experimental

Lush synths lend beauty to Let’s Eat Grandma’s B-side, “Sink”

“Sink,” the trip-hoppy B-side to Let’s Eat Grandma’s experimental debut single, “Deep Six Textbook,” sounds nothing like “Deep Six” and is every bit as good.

Lush strings of high-pitched notes mesh with a funky gothic synth line that oozes the song forward. Rosa and Jenny rap-sing broad, mysterious lines like “To retain the blame is a heavy weight/ I need your help to unblock it …. under the influence of the norm.”

Later, “And I just didn’t know what to say” is repeated and warped as it echoes away amid mounting feedback. The duo, Rosa and Jenny, share vocals and sound as close as sisters.

The beautiful oddness of “Sink” will only feed the fire ahead of their debut album, which is still months away.

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Let’s Eat Grandma, recently signed teen instrumentalists Rosa and Jenny, are from Norwich, England. They’re already selling out shows in England and will play at the Great Escape Festival in Brighton on May 19 – 21.

Let’s Eat Grandma is on Transgressive, with new music set for release Sept. 2.

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Filed under alternative, Ambient pop, Experimental, New Music, Synth-pop, Trip-Hop, Uncategorized

Let’s Eat Grandma, UK’s oldest teen duo, release “Deep Six Textbook”

Let’s Eat Grandma are two teens from Norwich, UK — Rosa and Jenny, 16 and 17 who have been creating sludgy pop feelings since they were 14. In the world of new music, that’s extremely young. While their voices sound young as well, the moody music they create seems wise beyond their years, combined.

They’re also multi-instrumentalists, in case you’re wondering if they’re solely vocalists with a backing group.

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Watch LEG’s video for “Deep Six Textbook,” where they drop down onto wet sand and just appear to be really close friends and look like sisters (they’ve been best friends since about 4). They filmed the video at Cromer, on the Norfolk coast, and appear to be the only two people on the planet there.

Rosa and Jenny also created the artwork for “Deep Six Textbook.”

Let’s Eat Grandma (LEG) have signed to Transgressor and their debut is scheduled to appear this summer.

 

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Filed under Experimental, New Music, Sludge, Sludge Pop, Uncategorized, VIdeos

What David Bowie means to me

I wrote these few notes on David Bowie at 2:30 a.m., after I found out the news that the longtime rock legend had died.
There’s nothing I can really say that isn’t going to be said or felt by every Bowie fan, but I just wanted to offer some thoughts about his impact on the world of music.

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Bowie was one of the first things I wrote about for this blog. His name or influence would pop up every now and then in stories, whenever art, music, culture and life collided or intersected. I wrote about his exhibit at London’s V & A in 2013 — where his unique fashions and music memorabilia paid a visit — and that time he invited everyone to check out his book list. When he tweeted to the astronaut Chris Hadfield after Hadfield performed “Space Oddity” in space, confirmed he knows how to stay relevant in every decade he’s lived through. David Bowie’s been everywhere, but always on his own terms.

The body of work he’s left us is immeasurable.
By not bowing to industry pressure and not compromising his sound or views, he’s created his own style of music, his own “coolness,” that no other artist has ever been able to duplicate.

I was lucky enough to see David Bowie at Lollapalooza in the early ’90s, performing with Nine Inch Nails. From what I recall, Bowie’s performance at Mansfield in Boston was a surprise — the crowd wasn’t expecting him. I admit I didn’t know a lot about Bowie at the time — I was too sheltered in my tiny worldview of music and didn’t understand his huge impact early on.

David Bowie

But that night, seeing him from a hundred rows back, solitary, standing still, the Thin White Duke in a long black coat, you knew with one look that he was in a class by himself, that you were in the presence of rock royalty. He commanded the crowd. It’s one of those concert memories that stays with you.

Whether it was the Jareth the Goblin King, Aladdin Sane or Ziggy Stardust, or whether you have strong feelings about the quality of “Modern Love,” Bowie owned whatever persona he embodied at that time. He stood by every decision he made, including his choice to have Blackstar be his farewell.

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David Bowie arrives at the 11th annual Webby Awards at Chipriani Wall Street on June 5, 2007, in New York City.

So if you haven’t heard his music before or don’t know much about him, there’s a really good chance you’ll find a song in his catalog that you can relate to or reminisce about.

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That’s what made him great — his ability to reach across the aisle toward any genre he felt an attraction to. No one can really fill that void, but he’s left behind an amazing collection of music that we can turn to, to stay in touch with the weird in all of us.

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Filed under Art, Art rock, Artpop, Electro-pop, Experimental, Glam Rock, Photography, Pop, Rock, Space rock, Uncategorized

FKA twigs drops conceptual new video and EP for “M3LL155X”

On Aug. 3, FKA twigs debuted the dark “Figure 8” off her upcoming EP. The scratchy, drawn-out growl she emits as part of that foreboding song has now been put to real life.

Today twigs, a British dancer, singer, and multi-instrumentalist, released a 16-minute conceptual, at times squeamish video featuring “Figure 8” and three other songs from her new five-song EP, “M3LL155X,” out tomorrow on Young Turks.

According to a story in Pitchfork, the video is explained as: “an aggressive statement conceptualising the process of feeling pregnant with pain, birthing creativity and liberation.”

The video begins with “Figure 8” and an elderly woman with gold teeth and an interesting fetish. It segues into “I’m Your Doll,” where twigs portrays a blow-up doll ready to do her bidding. “I’m feeling like a loaded gun,” she says.

For the pop-synthy “In Time,” she’s pregnant only part of the time, asking a man to “stay with me through this.” When her “water” breaks as vivid paint rolling down her legs, he’s disgusted.

In the last song, the previously released video for the uber-vogue “Glass & Patron,” she gives birth to a flowing mass of brightly colored scarves, essentially freeing herself from “being told who I am.”

Watch the video for “M3LL155X” below. The cover art for the album is above.

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Filed under Electronic, Experimental, Trip hop, VIdeos

Jenny Hval’s “Apocalypse, girl” streaming at New York Times

Multimedia artist Jenny Hval’s new album, “Apocalypse, girl” is unlike most you may hear in 2015. It’s streaming now at New York Times‘ “Press Play.”

It’s built of equal parts spoken-word, instrumental, incendiary, and well aware of social Jenny-Hval-The-Battle-Is-Over-Vidand feminist issues. It’s pointedly incendiary, but also contains a lot of soul in the form of Hval’s pained lyrics and thin, clear vocals.

Watch the video, below, for her eye-opening single “That Battle Is Over.” In it she declares, “Newspaper statistics tell me I am unhappy and dying.” She continues, “It’s biology, it’s my own fault, it’s divine punishment,” as she crucifies the prison she calls woman’s place in the world.

It’s disturbing to hear, and it’s supposed to knock you off-level, because her music is appropriately weighty, transgressive dream-pop.

It’s worth a listen.

“Apocalypse, girl” is out June 9 on Sacred Bones.

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Filed under Experimental, Instrumental, New Music

This man’s hearing implant turned him off to Nirvana, so he did something about it

http://www.npr.org/player/embed/406838781/407619694

Imagine not being able to hear Nirvana like everyone else does, even though you’re a fan. That’s what happened to Sam Swiller of Washington, D.C.sam-swiller npr cochlear

He started to lose his hearing at an early age, and music was his way to reach out and stay closer to the outside world.

Jon Hamilton of NPR Morning Edition ran a story Monday about Swiller, who loves music, but who happens to be deaf. When Swiller was in high school, he took refuge in music such as Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” and other alternative rock.

According to the story, he got a cochlear implant about 10 years ago, when the last few impulses of sound entered his ear.npr cochlear implant

He said the implant made it more difficult to interpret sounds and electrical impulses, which go right onto the auditory nerve. As a result, music he normally liked, such as Nirvana, was not as appealing to him as folk music.

The radio spot used Bjork’s latest album, “Vulnicura,” as an example.

So Swiller had to find a new way to interpret sounds so that he could listen and understand exactly what he wanted to again.

Listen below to the story “Deaf Jam: Experiencing music through a cochlear implant”:

http://www.npr.org/player/embed/406838781/407619694

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Filed under Experimental, Sound

ICYMI: Bjork’s video for “Lionsong” is physically unsettling

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Bjork’s latest album “Vulnicura” contains some of her most intensely painful and personal work to date, and her video for “Lionsong” is capable of physically putting you on edge.

The pastel blue and yellow “feathers” that adorn Bjork’s outfit, now famous as the symbol of “Vulnicura,” looks like the fluffy stuff from milkweed pods, or dandelion fuzz.

The opening scene, of what looks like a steampunk heart chamber, beats and wanes uncertainly as Bjork sings, “Maybe he will come out of this, loving me.” She strokes her feathers lovingly.

Dressed in a shiny black space suit, Bjork appears suspended in white, floating, but still stuck in one place, another unnerving factor to the video. Bjork is only protected by a few colorful feathers, adding to her vulnerability. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself tensing up while watching it.

See “Lionsong” via Billboard.

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Filed under Baroque Pop, Electronic, Experimental, Trip hop

Watch Flying Lotus’ video for “Coronus, The Terminator”

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Flying Lotus’ latest work is controversial and vivid, as are so many of his videos. The video, “Coronus, The Terminator,” builds slowly and centers around a dying man and the afterlife that comes for him.

But “Coronus” also features a soulful, gorgeous and haunting chorus. “The days of men are coming to an end,” they sing.

“Coronus” is one of Flying Lotus’ most powerful songs to date.

A message from Flying Lotus:

““For me, Coronus is one of the most important moments on ‘You’re Dead!’ and holds ideas im planning to explore in my future work. I’m happy that the visual encapsulates the meaning of the record and this ambition,” he says in a press release.

Flying Lotus just started a BBC Radio 1 residency on Jan. 15, which continues the second Thursday of each month through June. He’s on sometime between 10 p.m. and midnight.

Flying Lotus will be heading to Coachella 2015 and Governors Ball, as well as Bonnaroo. He’s also going to headline a show at Brixton Academy in London.

“See more of his videos at flying-lotus.com.

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FLYING LOTUS LIVE

January 26th – St Jerome’s Laneway Festival, Auckland, New Zealand

January 28th – The Powerstation, Auckland, New Zealand

January 29th – Shed 6, Wellington, New Zealand

January 30th – 170 Russell, Melbourne, Australia

January 31st – St Jerome’s Laneway Festival, Brisbane, Australia

February 1st – St Jerome’s Laneway Festival, Brisbane, Australia

February 3rd – Opera House, Sydney, Australia

February 6th – St Jerome’s Laneway Festival, Brisbane, Australia

February 7th – St Jerome’s Laneway Festival, Brisbane, Australia

February 8th – St Jerome’s Laneway Festival, Brisbane, Australia
April 10th – Coachella Festival, USA

April 17th – Coachella Festival, USA

April 25th – Le Trianon, Paris, France

April 26th – Cirque Royal, Brussels, Belgium

April 29th – Vicar Street, Dublin, Ireland

April 30th – Manchester Academy, Manchester, UK

May 1st – O2 Brixton Academy, London, UK

June 7th– Governor’s Ball, New York, NY

June 12th – Bonaroo Music Festival, Manchester, TN

August 12th –Vega, Copenhagen, Denmark

August 13th – Oya Festival, Norway

August 14th – Way Out West, Gothenburg, Sweden

August 16th – Flow Festival, Helsinki, Finland

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Filed under Experimental, Hip-Hop, VIdeos

This guy made a Zappa dummy, and it came to life

I ran this story last year, but today, Dec. 21, 2015, on what would have been Frank Zappa’s 75th birthday, I felt it was important to reiterate the effect his music and filmmaking had on one fan in particular.

Frank Zappa fans everywhere might appreciate this dedication.

everythingsounds.org ran a story in June 2014 about Indiana University music professor Andy Hollinden — a Zappa fanatic who was apparently good with a sewing needle.

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Andy Hollinden, professor, humongous Frank Zappa fan

In 1978, when Hollinden was a sophomore in high school, he created a life-sized Frank Zappa dummy. He took the dummy to high-school pictures, as well as to a Zappa concert. Hollinden raised up the dummy onto the stage and Frank Zappa took it. Hollinden didn’t see the dummy again, until years later. That’s when it gets interesting.

You must listen to the story. Radio stories are great because you get sucked in to them purely by your own imagination, so the imagery becomes very personal and more valuable.

Sure, the dummy looks a bit off in the picture below, but that was the cornerstone of Zappa culture — personal singularity. The journey of that doll is pretty fascinating if you think about it.

Thanks again to Everything Sounds.

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What would your Zappa dummy look like?

 

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Filed under Experimental, Rock

Feast your ears on Vision Fortune’s new single “Dry Mouth”

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Experimentalist group Vision Fortune has released details about their sophomore album, “Country Music.”

Take a listen to the band’s new single “Dry Mouth,” a song with bare and stripped-down percussion. The song is jarring to the point of being uncomfortable; it’s a vast departure from their debut, “Mas Fiestas con el Grupo Vision Fortune.”

The British trio was holed up in a country villa to create the album, which was recorded in Tuscany, Italy, during a research residency.

According to a press release, the percussion for “Dry Mouth” stems from silverware striking china bowls of foi gras d’oie. Seriously.

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“Country Music” is the band’s first for ATP Recordings and is due Feb. 10.

Watch the “Country Music” trailer,  and visit a link to a 2013 interview with The Quietus.

Bonus: A surprising tracklist title: “New Jack City.”

COUNTRY MUSIC TRACKLIST:

1. Blossom

2. Habitat

3. Dry Mouth

4. Cleanliness

5. Tita

6. Ties and Bound

7. Sandrino

8. Stalker

9. Drunk Ghost

10. Broken Teeth

11. New Jack City

12. Back Crawl II

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Filed under DIY, Drone, Experimental, New Music