Archive for August, 2010

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Balam Acab – See Birds EP [2010]

August 29, 2010

Post #46. See Birds EP by witch house artist Balam Acab. Balam Acab is definitely my favorite creator of witch house, a relatively new electronic genre that’s frightening, creepy, and freaking sweet.  I credit Karin Andersson’s work as Fever Ray with the origin of this slow, haunting, and intentionally large music; though in contrast to her work, witch house tends to be lo-fi.

Balam Acab isn’t just creepy, there are also brilliant atmospheric touches to this music.  Here’s what Balam wants: “fear, nostalgia, bliss, sadness, euphoria, beauty, peace, dreams, loneliness, longing, a removal of all the layers that aren’t until the one which is has been found, i want you to get lost…”

Your favorite will be the super slow groove title track See Birds (Moon), but make sure you dive into Regret Making Mistakes and let the shuttering beats and voices echo through your head.  Both tracks are free downloads from pitchfork (below), but the other three tracks are also good.  Here’s a youtube playlist with 4 of the 5 tracks.

Free Downloads: See Birds (Moon) and Regret Making Mistakes (right click, save as)

And here’s a witch house bonus track: the ridiculously large perversion of O Holy Night – King Night by Salem

source: pfork

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Arcade Fire – The Suburbs [2010]

August 18, 2010

Post #45.  The Suburbs by Arcade Fire.  You knew this was coming (sorry DrewDrew, you had your way last week).  This Arcade Fire album takes on a more rock spirit than their previous albums and even has a somewhat shoegaze atmosphere.  The whole thing builds and builds to the end and I can’t help thinking that AF intentionally muddied up their sound and structured the album this way to give me the feeling that I’m driving through endless suburban sprawl.

The last six songs on this are fantastic, and of course Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains) is a contender for single of the year.  Enjoy!

source: pfork

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The Roots – How I Got Over [2010]

August 6, 2010

Post #44.  Guest post by DrewDrew – a little more in depth than I usually go, but it’s a good analysis. The RootsHow I Got Over. (What I like most about the album is that it’s so smooth!)

From the first track, one will notice that the latest chapter in The Roots chronology is something different.  Listening the Dirty Projector-centric intro track, all I could think about was 75 Bars and how different it would be if it was produced now.  It’s pretty surprising that Rising Down was released only two years ago.  The Roots have shed some of the edge and blossomed low end for a late night gig AND a truly professional and smooth album.  Most importantly, this album is good listening beginning to end.

On top of Black Thought doing his thing (which I’ll talk about in a second) and ?uestlove killing the pocket the entire outing, The Roots have managed to enlist several under the radar guest artists that deserve some mention.  In terms of rappers, Blu and Phonte fit in rather nicely with the aesthetic of the album.  Blu’s verse that opens The Day is especially good.  Not to be left out, The Roots have Joanna Newsome, John Legend, and the already mentioned Dirty Projector girl vocals that add a nice twist to the general Roots formula.  Not to worry,  this album isn’t one long extended History track though.  To be honest, that wouldn’t have been too bad of a thing.  As a matter of fact, I missed Mos Def on this album.  I know STS is a Philly native, but on any of his verses Mos Def would have just crushed him.

Black Thought is quite solid on this album as usual.  He gets to breath a little on this album and has some special highlights.  Doin it Again is a testament to his capacity.  The versus had showed up on a BET cypher a while back, and it was unquestionable that that needed to show up on this album.  For anyone that missed it, watch it here.

Luckily the whole album can be streamed from The Roots myspace page, so swing over there and check it out.  Even with a late night gig under their belt, The Roots are putting out relevant (listen to the title track), professional, and entertaining hip-hop that should be heard.

source: drewdrew