News – Drab Majesty announce new album release “Modern Mirror” out July 12th – watch video of new single

The LA based duo of Deb Demure and Mona D – aka Drab Majesty –  announced the release date of their new album “Modern Mirror” today (April 16, 2019).  Its scheduled for July 12th via Dais Records, along with touring plans.   Its their third release.  For anyone unfamiliar with Drab Majesty, they have steadily built a devoted fan base worldwide with their singular hypnotic sound and mysterious, constantly-evolving presence.  They have toured with Smashing Pumpkins, Deafheaven, Crystal Castles and appeared on NBC TV’s Carson Daly.  The unique line up of Drab Majesty, the metal gaze Deafheaven and noise and industrial rock influenced Uniform sold out their 2018 appearance in Orlando.

In addition, they released a new single. Check out the video for ‘Ellipsis’  below.  Its from the upcoming album.  Directed by Thomas McMahan, ‘Ellipsis’ romantically plays up the distorted concept of courting through modern technology in a world that has yet to adapt.

In discussion of “Modern Mirror”, they traveled to Athens, Greece as groundwork for a modern reinterpretation of Ovid’s “Narcissus”. Each song on the record tells a piece of the story in which the listener’s own self-identity has become warped and dissociated through rapidly expanding technology, losing touch with the origins of their own personalities. It fuses synth-pop-noir aesthetics within the cautious instruction of Greek mythology and modern science fiction, birthing a hybrid of romantic dreamy malaise, captured for a future moment. It’s a journey of self-reflection, nostalgia, love, beauty, and heartbreak told across eight addictive and emotional synth pop anthems – a seemingly classic tale delivered unblinkingly through the frame of the modern world.

“Modern Mirror” was produced by Josh Eustis (Telefon Tel Aviv) and mastered by Dave Cooley, with appearances byJasamine White-Gluz (No Joy) and Justin Meldal-Johnson (NIN, Beck, M83, Air) with packaging and design by Juan Mendez of Jealous God/Silent Servant.

Pre-orders have been posted here.

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Modern Mirror cover art:

Current Drab Majesty tour dates

Drab Majesty tour dates:

April 17 – Rostov, RU – Line
May 10 – Austin, TX – KVRX Festival
May 17 – Chicago, IL – Garfield Park Conservatory
May 28 – Istanbul, TR – Zorlu PSM
June 01- Barcelona, ES – Primavera Sound
June 02 – Dublin, IE – Workman’s Club
June 06 – Birmingham, UK – The Flapper
June 07 – Nottingham, UK – Rock City (Beta) *
June 08 – Glasgow, UK – Audio *
June 09 – Guastalla, IT – Handmade Festival
June 11 – Roma, IT – Wishlist Club
June 12 – Pomigliano D’Arco, IT – Floor Club
June 14 – Mosfellsbær, IS – Oration Festival


source courtesy of and shared by press release
Artist photo credit for article: Nedda Afsari

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News – The Cinematic Orchestra adds more US dates to their World Tour

British nu jazz and electronic music artists The Cinematic Orchestra recently (April 15, 2019) announced more tour dates in the US after originally listing a LA appearance at the Walt Disney Concert Hall for late November.  See the details below.  Founded in 1999, by Jason Swinscoe and now joined long-time collaborator and friend Dominic Smith, they are supporting their newest album “To Believe”, just released March 15, 2019 – the first in over ten years. It has received praise from the likes of The Guardian, The Independent, Q Magazine, GQ, Bandcamp and many more.

In addition, the Cinematic Orchestra shared a new live video for “Lessons” from their new album. Filmed by acclaimed filmmaker and photographer Brian “B+” Cross (Mochilla) whilst the band were in Joshua Tree, USA earlier this year.  The live video goes back and forth between the footage and the band performing in the studio.

B+ said of the video, “The desert has been an important reference for Jason and Dominic during the creation of this project. We took photos out there three years back in the beginning of the publicity for the campaign. It was wonderful to go back out to Joshua Tree and hear the music performed live by the full band. It was an honour to capture the energy in the room over six takes and then intercut it with some observational shots we created using a pretty sophisticated drone. Drone technology was created in Southern California and all the stark beauty it can capture underwritten by the military industrial narratives we live with here is present in the work. Thinking about these deeper themes is central to this new Cinematic project and it was a privilege to be part of these conversations.”

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The last time i wrote about them, they were in the midst of a string of performances in the UK.  Just completing the BBC 6 Music Festival in Liverpool, they will be touring again, this time in Japan starting April 18th.  Here’s more details and the US tours also.  Southeast US appearances include Nashville, Asheville (NC) and Atlanta.

2019 live dates:
18 Apr Sankei Hall Breeze, Osaka, Japan
19 Apr Hitomi Memorial Hall, Tokyo, Japan
16 May Compensa Koncertu Sale, Vilnius, Lithuania
17 May A2, Wrocław, Poland
18 May Studio, Kraków, Poland
19 May Stary Maneż, Gdańsk, Poland
20 May Palladium, Warsaw, Poland
21 May Sala Ziemi, Poznań, Poland
23 May Astra, Berlin, Germany
24 May Live Music Hall, Cologne, Germany
26 May Les Docks, Lausanne, Switzerland
30 Jun Harbourside, Bristol, UK

New US Tour Dates:
27 Oct White Oak Music Hall, Houston, TX
28 Oct Mohawk, Austin, TX
29 Oct Canton Hal, Dallas, TX
30 Oct Exit / In, Nashville, TN
31 Oct The Loft, Atlanta, GA
01 Nov Orange Peel, Asheville, NC
02 Nov 9:30 Club, Washington, DC
03 Nov Union Transfer, Philadelphia, PA
05 Nov Brooklyn Steel, Brooklyn, NY
07 Nov Paradise, Boston, MA
08 Nov Palais Montcalm, Quebec City, QC
09 Nov Corona Theatre, Montreal, QC
10 Nov Danforth Music Hall, Toronto, ON
11 Nov Russell Industrial, Detroit, MI
12 Nov Thalia Hall, Chicago, IL
14 Nov Englert Theatre, Iowa City, IA
15 Nov Gothic Theatre, Denver, CO
16 Nov Metro Music Hall, Salt Lake City, UT
18 Nov The Neptune, Seattle, WA
19 Nov Vogue Theatre, Vancouver, BC
20 Nov Wonder Ballroom, Portland, OR
22 Nov Regency Ballroom, San Francisco, CA
23 Nov Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, CA


source courtesy of and shared by press release
featured image – The Cinematic Orchestra credit to B+

Listen to new single ‘Opium’ by Indie-electronic artist Tim Aminov – “Opium” EP will be available April 11th

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Update – EP release was actually April 11th. That said, available now.

Moscow based music producer and composer Tim Aminov, fresh off the success of his 2018 video releases – including the Festival London Short Series nominated ‘ORPHEUS (FEAT. CÉDRIC GASAÏDA)’ and critically acclaimed ‘VENENO’ – recently released his newest single ‘Opium’ on March 14th. Listen to it below.

If you’re familiarity of him is limited to the tracks listed above and his music soundtracks like the First – soon to be available on Netflix – fans of Yves Tumor, Gaika, Amnesia Scanner, and James Blake should take note that he’s influenced by all listed. In addition according to his bio, his new solo material could be best described as a blend of electronica, RnB and Neo-Soul with definitive Trip-Hop and Chill tones, delving deep into a rich, atmospheric and textural focus…comparable to similarly like-minded artists such as Jordan Rakei, Corbin or River Tiber.

Expect melancholic keys at the start of the self-produced title-track of his upcoming EP before Tim’s sombre voice fills the void over atmospheric effects. Soon after, a bass-heavy trap-like beat is introduced as the hook of the song hits and the dark tone of the track is filled with atmospheric synthesizers, creating a layered production that oozes with Tim’s signature minimal, yet intricate soundscapes.

When asked about the EP he comments, “This release was written under the influence of a difficult situation in Russia. We live in a very aggressive political mood and this mainly concerns ordinary people in our country.”

Tim Aminov’s EP “Opium” will be available March 28th  April 11th…out now.

Xiu Xiu news – US tour to support new album “Girl with Basket of Fruit” available Feb 9th – watch new video

American experimental music artists Xiu Xiu announced their 2019 US Tour this past Tuesday January 14th in support of their upcoming album (ironically their 14th) titled “Girl with Basket of Fruit”.  In addition, they released a new video ‘Pumpkin Attack on Mommy and Daddy’.  According to them, the video races along the thematic current of and utilizes consistent imagery and symbols from the first video (for “Scissssssors“) including reappearances of Xiu Xiu members plus performance artists Ron Athey and Elliot Reed.  Pumpkin Attack on Mommy and Daddy’ was primarily written by Angela Seo with lyrical contributions from Elliot Reed and Jamie Stewart; inspirations for the track include Toilet Paper Magazine, works by Boyd McDonald, Korean Mythological Drawings and Alcohol.  Watch above.

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Elliot Reed performs in “Pumpkin Attack on Mommy and Daddy”

As for the tour, it starts Feb 8th as they will perform songs from “Girl with Basket of Fruit” at the Warhol Theater in Pittsburgh. The live band will include Thor Harris, Jordan Geiger, and Jamie “Bunny” Stewart.

2019 US Tour Xiu Xiu

02/08 – Pittsburgh, PA @ The Warhol Theater at the Andy Warhol Museum
05/01 – Austin, TX @ Mohawk
05/03 – Shreveport, LA @ Minicine?
05/05 – Nashville, TN @ Exit/In
05/07 – Asheville, NC @ The Mothlight
05/08 – Durham, NC @ Motorco Music Hall
05/11 – Providence, RI @ Columbus Theatre
05/12 – New York, New York @ (Le) Poisson Rouge
05/13 – Burlington, VT @ Club Metronome
05/14 – Ithaca, NY @ The Haunt
05/15 – Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom
05/16 – Detroit, MI @ MOCAD
05/17 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
05/18 – Davenport, IA @ Daytrotter (Livestream Session)
05/18 – Rock Island, IL @ ROZZ-TOX
05/19 – Iowa City, IA  @ The Mill
05/20 – Denver, CO @ The Oriental Theater
05/21 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
05/22 – Garden City, ID @ Visual Arts Collective
05/23 – Seattle, WA @ The Vera Project
05/25 – Portland, OR @ Holocene
05/28 – San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel

featured image – creditShomei Tomatsu

source courtesy of press release

Ali Shaheed Muhammed, Heathered Pearls, Hana Vu and Trevor Powers in music news

Ali Shaheed Muhammed (of A Tribe Called Quest) & Adrian Younge announced their debut release of The Midnight Hour

Fresh from his appearance at Moogfest 2018, Ali Shaheed Muhammed (of A Tribe Called Quest) & Adrian Younge announced their debut release of The Midnight Hour. It features a reimagining of a Luther Vandross classic. “So Amazing”. This came about after a chance meeting with the Vandross Estate. According to Ali & Adrian, “We are huge lovers of Luther Vandross’ music. Our adoration towards Luther was mentioned in a passing conversation, which prompted SONY Legacy to invite us to meet with the members of Luther’s estate. We discussed many things and a question was posed, if one could reimagine Luther’s music in 2018 what would it sound like? Our version of ‘So Amazing’ is an example of a unique and special collaboration towards reimagining one of his classic songs. In addition to this song we will be making an announcement soon in relation to Luther Vandross and Spotify, but for now we present to you the initial blossom from this collaboration.” Ali was recently at Moogfest 2018 at the Legends of the Lawn event with Pete Rock and Moses Sumney. Midnight Hour is scheduled to be released June 8th.

New Heathered Pearls remix album out July 13th

Brooklyn based DJ and producer Heathered Pearls announced the release of Detroit, MI 1997 – 2001 Remixes.  It will be released July 13th featuring Baltra, Matrixxman and others. Recently the DJ producer opened up for one of the Lapalux shows at Elsewhere in his hometown of Brooklyn supporting his release Detroit, MI 1997-2001 and older recordings.

Hana Vu’s debut album out June 29th

Seventeen year-old Los Angeles-based artist Hana Vu recently announced her self-produced debut EP How Many Times Have You Driven By, out June 29th via Fat Possum imprint Luminelle Recordings. From her forthcoming album, here’s a video featuring Satchy.

 

 

Trevor Powers full album Mulberry Violence to be released August 17th

American musician, producer, and composer Trevor Powers has announced that August 17th will be the release date for Mulberry Violence on his own Baby Halo label, the full album will feature the previously released single “Playwright,” along with the songs “Ache” and “Plaster Saint,” both of which are now available.

 

ALL NEWS SOURCE FROM PRESS RELEASES.

Sam Valdez to release debut EP Mirage; watch her new video “Farther Away”

samvaldez-1Her upcoming release is praised as Americana meets Shoegaze

Los Angeles, singer-songwriter, Sam Valdez debut album EP, Mirage is scheduled to be released on June 29th via Nevado Music.  Sam Valdez comments, “The desert had so much to do with every aspect of writing the record, ‘Farther Away’ is a glimpse of where that came from.”

And with that KCRW has related how the vastness and solitude of desert life is apparent throughout her writing, with cinematic resonance and euphoric arrangements.

Sam Valdez’s music has been described as a fusion of shoe-gaze and vintage Americana indie folk. They add “by embodying the best of both genres, Valdez has been creating dreamy, yet haunting atmospheric soundscapes that resonate with her listeners.” Valdez grew up at the edge of the Nevada desert, in Las Vegas and credits the desert as a major influence in her writing and composing.  In support of the new music, Valdez will be touring all year round but for now you can catch her doing some local shows in LA. New dates to be announced soon.

Until then Shoegaze Americana?  Americana shoegaze?  Consequences of Sound, Indie Shuffle suggest it.

I think Sam Valdez is crafting songs that effectively resemble the ghost like persona, the traveler born and raised in the sun soaked desert in Nevada, that transcends back in time and distance. With songs like “Farther Away” her delivery isn’t just a romanticized nod to traveling maverick icons like Johnny Cash, but a branch that extends over the pond emulating the European women pop stars of the 60s.  While arguably not the first to do this, she isn’t limited in her ability, unlike the others beforehand.  I’m also impressed with the bright yet decaying guitar sounds that hauntingly dissipate in what could be a deserted place.  The rest of the backing group is typical and is satisfactory in its balance.

Check out her video for yourself before the album is released.

Note – source from press release

Orbital’s new single ‘Tiny Foldable Cities’ just released; paves way for first full album in five years

 

Expect ‘MONSTERS EXIST’ to be released 09/14/2018

May 11, 2018(press release): When monsters are loose in a darkening world, we need monsters of our own to fight back. After a barnstorming live reunion which saw them play to ecstatic audiences across Europe throughout 2017 Britain’s giants of electronic music Orbital announce they’re back for good – with new music and an upgrade of the legendary live show that transformed festivals across the world.

Reunited brothers Paul and Phil Hartnoll release their new single, ‘Tiny Foldable Cities’ on May 11. An intricate piece of electro-hypnotica in the lineage of ‘The Box’ or ‘Style’, it restates why Orbital were always a cut above the bargain basement boom-and-bosh crew, and takes their signature sound forward into a new and fascinating phase.

Their first new album in five years – the one even fans wondered if they’d ever hear -called ‘Monsters Exist’ is out September 14. (see track-listing below).

‘Monsters Exist’ is a more classically structured Orbital album than their previous release ‘Wonky’, drawing inspiration from the international political landscape all the way back from Paul and Phil’s pre-rave squat-punk roots right up to the volatile tensions and erratic rhetoric of today.

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“When you haven’t made an album in five years it just comes tumbling out,” says Paul. “Because of the global situation I was torn between writing a really aggressive Crass-type album that says ‘Fuck The Man!’ or going back to rave sensibilities. You know, let’s really rebel by stepping away and actually living that alternative lifestyle.” But the idea of ‘Monsters Exist’ tied it all together.

“You don’t need to spell out who the monsters are,” he says. “We’re not pointing our fingers at Donald Trump or Kim Jong-un. It’s clear who the monsters are. I’ve never liked preaching to people. It’s much better to provoke a bit of thought.”

Phil puts it more succinctly. “It’s a reflection on modern day monsters,” he says. “That can mean anything from bankers and The Man or your own demons and fears. The monsters inside you,” he says, evilly.

Among the tracks in progress is a cosmic piece featuring an address for the possible end of the world by Prof. Brian Cox (“It’s Brian being emo,” says Paul. “Brian Emo”). There’s also an epic state-of-the-planet title track featuring “anguish, dread and News at Ten-style drama.”

When they’re in balance these leading figures of British dance music constitute their own self-regulating yin and yang. Analytical, detail-oriented Paul listens to everything from new electronica by Nathan Fake and Jon Hopkins to Beck and Belle & Sebastian.” Born-again German techno fan Phil is hammering Bicep and the resurgent minimal sound of Berlin (he went to Berlin for the first time ever in 2017 “and I was like fucking hell, why haven’t I been here before?”). If time is a loop then Orbital have completed their own revolution to a new equilibrium.

“The master plan for this one,” says Paul, “is to make a bloody good album. And then see what happens.” ”

Orbital bring their groundbreaking live show to BBC Music’s Biggest Weekend in Belfast on May 25. Throughout 2018 they’ll play a string of high-profile festival dates and headline shows across Europe featuring new material alongside classics like ‘Chime’, ‘Belfast’ and ‘Impact’. (see full live dates below)

“We had an absolutely fantastic year with the live shows in 2017,” says Phil Hartnoll. “For instance we played the Blue Dot Festival at Jodrell Bank which was incredible, and for our London Christmas shows we really wanted to upgrade our whole production, which seemed to pay off judging by the amazing crowd reaction.  It all reminded us, yes, this is why we love doing this.”

Reconnecting with Orbital’s past, acclaimed avant-garde artist John Greenwood, who painted the famous bulbous and organic artwork for 1994’s ‘Snivilisation’ and 1996’s ‘In Sides’, will return to create the cover of ‘Monsters Exist’. Some 20 years after he first collaborated with Orbital, Greenwood’s shifting shapes and comical hybrid organisms – the Chapman Brothers meets Monsanto, or maybe Hieronymus Bosh-bosh-bosh – feel even more in sync with an era obsessed with its own genetic monsters. “We’ve always loved John’s work,” says Phil, “and it feels especially right for this record.”

This surge of creativity shows how the Hartnolls have rebuilt one of electronic music’s best-loved partnerships after Orbital’s surprisingly bitter break-up in 2012. Driven apart by music’s strange and infamous brother-vs-brother dynamic, Paul and Phil didn’t speak for five years after the ‘Wonky’ tour ended.

“When we fell out, I just couldn’t enjoy any of the amazing things we’d done over 25 years with Orbital,” says Phil. They’d been onstage with Stephen Hawking at the Paralympics, in front of the whole world. They’d remixed Madonna. They’d played Glastonbury many times and travelled the world. “And this silly row sort of poisoned it. How daft is that?”

Now the brothers have a pact. Whatever happens, Orbital does not stop. “We’ve learned to talk to each other rather than let things stew, and it’s much better,” says Phil. “We used to waste a lot of energy wondering what the other one was thinking and getting on each other’s nerves. But now we actually talk! And it’s brilliant.”

“It was silly really,” adds Paul. “We’re brothers and business partners and creative partners, so we were three times as likely to fall out. But in the end we had to remind ourselves that Orbital is something we’re really proud of and that we love doing it.”

It’s healthy, he thinks, to be reminded of how lucky you’ve been, of how you need each other, of how you’ve got to let each other play to their strengths. “If we were both the same,” says Paul, “then it wouldn’t be Orbital.”

“Battle ye not with monsters, said Friedrich Nietzche, “lest ye become a monster.” But there is more than one kind of monster and more than one kind of battle. There’s monsters of fear and tyranny, monsters of greed, and yes, the destructive monsters of sibling rivalry.

And in the other corner, fighting the good fight, are the monsters of the imagination… the monsters of rock… and the monsters of rave.

‘Monsters Exist’ is out September 14 via ACP Recordings on CD, 2CD, 2LP, 4LP Box Set & digital.

 

Track listing:

Standard CD / Deluxe Edition Disc 1
1. Monsters Exist
2. Hoo Hoo Ha Ha
3. The Raid
4. P.H.U.K.
5. Tiny Foldable Cities
6. Buried Deep Within
7. Vision OnE
8. The End Is Nigh
9. There Will Come A Time (Featuring Prof. Brian Cox)
Deluxe Edition Disc 2
1. Kaiju
2. A Long Way From Home
3. Analogue Test Oct 16
4. Fun With The System
5. Dressing Up In Other People’s Clothes
6. To Dream Again
7. There Will Come A Time – Instrumental
8. Tiny Foldable Cities – Kareful Remix

Continue reading “Orbital’s new single ‘Tiny Foldable Cities’ just released; paves way for first full album in five years”

Moogfest 2018 – guitarist Wes Borland heads a list of five conceptual and contrasting Durational Sound Installations

Wes Borland
Crystal Machete

UPDATE – Moogfest’s Durational Sound Installation series has become a staple of the festival since its inception at Moogfest 2014 and while the festival’s existence began in 2004, it has emerged as a part of their legacy as they moved from New York to Asheville and now Durham, NC.   It’s primarily a four hour session of auriculor trips, synchronisms and collaborations scheduled every afternoon throughout Moogfest.  The exceptions are Thursday afternoon which is three hours long, and the sleep concert (normally associated on its own) which runs from 12am to 8am late Thursday night/early Friday morning.   For this year, Moogfest has announced that Limp Bizkit guitarist Wes Borland will headline with a four hour performance of his own Friday May 18th starting at 12 noon.

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Richard Devine at Moogfest 2016

What is a durational sound installation? From what i experienced, it’s like a random side show, but not necessarily with disorder. They’re not bound to a set list, but they are limited to their time frame. It’s like an improvisation, but with copious amounts of pedals, vintage equipment, laptops, analog and digital keyboards and carefully placed speakers. It has the trappings of an experiment. The Durational Sound Installations appears to insist on intimacy, but with sets that outlast different conversations, films, performances and discussions happening throughout Moogfest, you can come and go as you please. The exception would be the overnight sleep concert which is under limited capacity.  Richard Devine took over 21c Hotel Main Gallery on a Saturday afternoon in 2016.  I was able to observe his performance for awhile after watching Gwenno earlier. Both started at 2pm.  Moor Mother, the Haxan Cloak and Jas Shaw participated at the 2017 event when it was at the American Underground Storefront.  I was able to watch Jas Shaw for awhile before walking over to the First Presbyterian Church for Colleen’s rare US live performance at the time.

This year’s Durationals returns to the 21c Main Gallery with Thursday’s scheduled at the Power Plant Boiler Room.   Check out the Moogfest 2018 scheduling site for more details.  https://moogfest2018.sched.com/

the Haxan Cloak and Nick Zinner at Moogfest 2017

Durational Sound Installation

According to the festival, this year’s program highlights five super conceptual and very contrasting durationals that take the artist somewhat out of their ‘comfort zone’. This is an extension of the durational concept that started at Moogfest 2014.

1) Wes Borland
Last year Michael Stipe transformed himself at Moogfest with the debut of his audio visual installation via a new medium. Re-emerging at this year’s fest will be Limp Bizkit’s bass player Wes Borland. His new project, deeply personal, feels like a creative regeneration. At MF, his experimentation will seep into the conceptual and come to life by way of a self made rig in a 4 hour durational. The festival’s avant-gardism and activism is an ideal platform for Wes’ groundbreaking experimental performance. It will be his first performance of this kind ever.
UPDATE – Here’s more details about his rig for his appearance at Moogfest 2018, his new single “Matadors and Daughters”album and appearance at Moogfest 2018.  From the press release, in addition to debuting new songs at Moogfest, Borland is presenting a custom sonic rig central to his performance. Describing the rig, Borland says, that “It’s basically multiple delay pedals and loopers and samplers going into a small mixing console which goes into a main sampler/looper. I’ve set up tons of instruments and made railroad tracks that come together to a central hub where I can record a loop of those things and have it run and then play over it and then have other stations that have their own loopers playing by themselves and I can enjoy the imperfection of those things overlapping each other. I’m set up for all kinds of things to happen, including accidents.” The durational will mostly be a solo performance but will include support from Alex Rosson, former head of audio at Detroit’s Shinola and the ears and vision behind Audeze headphones.
Nicole Mitchell Michael Jackson - Nicole Mitchell
2) Nicole Mitchell
This jazz enthusiast and avant-garde artist who’s part of the association of Advancement of Creative Musicians will be performing a 4 hour durational on her flute immersed with a plethora of moog synths. Mitchell initially emerged from Chicago’s innovative music scene in the late 90s, and her music celebrates contemporary African American culture.  She is perhaps best known for her work as a flutist, having developed a unique improvisational language and having been repeatedly awarded “Top Flutist of the Year” by Downbeat Magazine Critics Poll and
the Jazz Journalists Association (2010-2017).
This is a completely different genre for her, and promises to be extraordinary.
3) Nick Hook & Gareth Jones: Spiritual Friendship
Jones — a celebrated British producer and engineer who’s spent more than 35 years working with acts like Depeche Mode, Einstürzende Neubauten, Wire, Mogwai, Erasure, Grizzly Bear, Liars, Clinic, and others too numerous to list . Hook, a St. Louis native brought up on a musical diet that was equal parts hip-hop, punk rock and electronic music, spent the next several years carving out his own lane in New York, becoming a loveable jack-of-all trades who was just as comfortable dropping bombs in the DJ booth as he was recording Young Thug in the studio or performing live on stage with El-P.  They kick off the durationals part of Moogfest 2018 with their three hour performance Thursday May 17th.
4) Sleep Concert: Presented by Bedroom Community 

The highly-anticipated Sleep Concert, the grandfather of all durationals:

An overnight 8-hour magical experience in sound, led this year by Icelandic artists Bedroom Community featuring Bedroom Community founder Valgeir Sigurðsson with labelmate Liam Byrne. The sleep concert has been an event in itself since Robert Rich’s appearance in 2016.

5) Stephen O’Malley and Deradoorian team up for a challenging collision of experimental worlds
Vanguard drone music composer Stephen O’Malley (Sunn O))), Khanate, Burning Witch) and pop experimentalist Deradoorian (Dirty Projectors, Avey Tare) were recently added to the durational programming. The duo will come together for a collaborative four-hour performance on Saturday, May 19.
Moogfest 2018 will once again be held in Downtown Durham NC Thursday May 17th to Sunday May 20th, 2018.
For more information visit http://www.moogfest.com and for tickets visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/moogfest-2018-tickets-44488725977.

Moogfest 2018 Lineup has been released. Check out the eclectic schedule and more.

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First Presbyterian Church line up of Moogfest 2016

Also new music releases by

Chrome Sparks, Sun Glitters with Steffaloo and Tristan de Liège

The yearly event Moogfest recently unveiled its full lineup including artist-led workshops and conversations, film screenings, the addition of IBM Watson Creative Director Jennifer Sukis to its keynote program, and the premiere of a traveling exhibit from artist Ralph Steadman featuring many never-before-seen works.

As a companion to her keynote, IBM Watson Design Lead Maya C Weinstein will lead two workshops on enhancing design applications through cognitive technology. Participants will work directly with A.I. modules currently being used to inspire art and music at the highest levels, and use design thinking to conceptualize and collaborate on a specific project. No prior experience is necessary for participation.

The full schedule revealed also includes over 200 workshops, masterclasses, and conversations along with this year’s film programming, among which are “Bight of the Twin,” Genesis P-Orridge’s exploration of the origins of voodoo in Benin; the Bedroom Community tour film “Everything Everywhere All the Time”; Gavin Rayna Russom’s experimental short, “No More White Presidents”; the Armen RabiopicWhen My Sorrow Died”; and more. All films will be accompanied by an artist conversation directly following the screening. The Moogfest 2018 local programming announcement also accompanies the schedule release. Durham collective and record label Raund Haus, along with dance music curators The Floor have assembled a full slate of performances from local producers and DJs, plus one very special guest to be revealed at the festival.

This also includes a slate of rare appearances, mind-expanding masterclasses, workshops, and keynotes, plus the debut of A3, a revolutionary 3D audio environment to power exclusive performances from nine artists under the festival’s Spatial Sound banner.

Heading up this year’s lineup are German post-techno pathfinders Mouse on Mars (two performances); R&B visionary Kelela; Boogie Down Productions co-founder KRS-One; and resurgent English producer Jon Hopkins (two performances). Joining them in Phase Two are industrial music iconoclast Author & Punisher; synth pioneer Suzanne CianiDJ Stingray, former DJ for legendary techno group Drexciya; electropop diva Little Boots (two performances); afro-futurist hip-hop duo Shabazz Palaces; Genesis P-Orridge’s experimental video and music ensemble Psychic TV; Bedroom Community founder Valgeir Sigurðsson with labelmate Liam Byrne; genre-defying Detroit producer Waajeed; and the apocalyptic vision of found-sound collagist Yves Tumor.

More coverage of Moogfest 2018 is still to come.  Chill #40 is planned to be uploaded to mixcloud.com/thisischill before the festival featuring music from participants of the festival and another episode will be uploaded post festival.

To view Full Moogfest 2018 Schedule: https://moogfest2018.sched.com/
For more information, visit moogfest.com.

In other news, as the Chrome Sparks and Machinedrum tour conclude at the end of the month, Chrome Sparks released its long awaited debut album self titled on April 13th.  Here’s the first single off that album.

Sun Glitters teamed up with Steffaloo again to released the single “Forever and Ever”.  This is the latest in their collaborations since the early decade.  Its available on Sun Glitter’s bandcamp page.

Los Angeles-based multi-instrumentalist Tristan de Liège announced the release of his latest downtempo album, Kosame,” due on Emancipator’s imprint, Loci records, April 13th . Titled after the Japanese word for “light rain”, “Kosame ” is inspired by the feelings of nostalgia, peacefulness, and transience that accompany rain.

Note:  some articles are from press releases

Amusement Parks on Fire returns with their latest EP – All the New Ends

Fresh off last years single “Our Goal to Realize” their first release in over eight years (8.8 years to be exact), British art-rockers Amusement Parks on Fire continue their signature songwriting sophistication and sonic scope with their new EP “All the New Ends” – released Friday April 13th.  The title track begins with a relaxing vibe at a crisp strolling pace. The second half truly shines, with a second guitar bringing a slight psychedelic vibe. Mixed with the melodic vocals they have truly continued to cultivate their sound.

They’ve come a long way from its formation in 2004, which started as a solo project for Michael Feerick, who wrote and recorded nine songs on a shoestring budget with friend Daniel Knowles engineering the sessions. Since then they have grown into a full band, releasing three full albums and six EPs of experimental, art rock and shoegaze music with Alternative Press proclaiming their third album 2010s “Road Eyes” “a near perfect album”, “‘sun-drenched, challenging and gratifying”.  The shoegaze comparisons were astounding.  They were claimed as the ones that revived the scene that celebrated itself, took the mantle once sat upon by My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive who were out on a long hiatus or long broken up and experimenting the post rock nuance.  This nu-gaze scene existed since but to label Amusement Parks on Fire as such didn’t feel right to the shoegaze music historian.  ….they said Amusement Parks on Fire were more than that.   And it can be argued as such.

Their new video “All the New Ends” was released in April 2018.  Listen to it here!

 

Amusement Parks on Fire also started their tour in Europe this month.

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Expect the new Amusement Parks on Fire on future episodes of Chill #.

Moogfest 2017 – A collection of performances, discussions, installations and workshops

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Honestly when the Moogfest 2017 line up was announced i felt underwhelmed.  The line up wasn’t as interesting or rare when taken at face value.  Some of the headliners of this event scheduled between May 18th to May 21st have played in the Southeast US a couple of times over the last five years like Flying Lotus and Animal Collective.  I suppose that’s good if youre a big fan of theirs and in the case of Flying Lotus it was a welcome surprise to be around at the right time as i didn’t see him live at other sizable venues in the past.  I am also aware the Moog Festival likes to invite back those artists that played in the past.   Personally to me that’s great if they’re playing in a smaller venue, but not so good if they’re headlining the big stage but thats just me.  Of course Moogfest is more than just the performances.  Its the discussions, the installation booths and if youre higher than VIP participation in workshops.  Unfortunately  i ended up fighting the flu and as a result ended up not showing up to half of the performances and other events scheduled at Moogfest…and the biggest regret about that was missing the Saturday afternoon performances at the First Presbyterian Church.   I made it to see Colleen, but the line up before her was promising to say the least.

Another big disappointment was the weather.  Last year it was near perfect in the 70s. Look at the dates between May 18 to 22, 2016.  This year the humidity was no help as those were the only days in the month of May North Carolina hit the 90s.  What can you say?  Its coincidence it happened that way.

First off i wanted to start off by saying Zola Jesus on Friday evening May 19th performance was powerful.   Although she did play in Florida a couple of years and my opinion of her was lukewarm which is why i didn’t see her then, i penciled her in as one of the interests.  Read more about it here.

After Zola ended, made it over to my first Moogfest 2017 appearance at First Presbyterian Church for Circuit Des Yeux – a last minute substitution for Ry X who actually cancelled this leg of his tour for personal reasons.  Except for the fans who wanted to see him, this really was more than adequate a back up you can get.  Plus its apparently an easy choice since they were already touring with Animal Collective.   That said one can argue its a step down from an up and coming media celebrated artist to another thats supporting a band on a limited tour.  Personally the substitution intrigued me more.  I never really could connect with Ry X and besides the hype would’ve made access to the church uneasy.  It was already unpredictable entering the Church throughout the event anyways – another story together.   This was like substituting one artist who writes emotional music for the dilettante for another who might possibly be swayed to do the same a couple of years later.   Fortunately the substitute is still experimenting with emotions unfriendly to the household rather than selling their talent to the highest bidder.  Thats what i took away from the substitute and the performance lived up to that.

Listening to Visible Cloaks has always been a struggle for me.  Even adding them to my podcast (chill #24) to promote Moogfest i had a difficult time connecting with their brand of electronic music…at times PC sounds on steroids until i realize their ode to vaporwave…but they got to play in a church and much excitement was made by others.  Keep in mind my illness.  By about the middle of their show, listening to tracks like Neume and Terrazo in the First Presbyterian Church was satisfying enough.

Afterwards i walked over to Pinhook to catch a little bit of Silent Servant.  His minimal hard techno/industrial performance was solid, had good energy but nothing memorable.  I was out in 15 minutes headed for the Surf Club to see Baltra.

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Baltra at the Surf Club

During the anticipation for Moogfest 2017, one of the artists i became really interested in  was Baltra and his deep/lo-fi house set Friday night/early Saturday morning – well technically there was other performances happening but its where i ended up.   So interested in fact, it started an entire fascination in related lo-fi artists like DJ Boring and Ross From Friends and reading articles about whether underground house has finally run out of ideas.   While it didn’t utterly disappoint and switch up like Heathered Pearls did the year before, i can’t recall if he played any of his “hits” like “Never Let Go of Me” and “Fade Away”, plus his chilly and stoic set gave way to textbook DJ by the time closing time came around.

I will say one of the priorities i made to myself was to attend as much of the Durational Sound Installations as i can and i did despite how i felt.  Plus it was in the same building and right below the media room.  Moor Mother and Jas Shaw was part of the good line up.  Moor Mother didn’t divert from what i previewed about her in this article, but the performance that stood out was the droney collaboration of the Haxan Cloak with the hazy guitar sounds of  Hans Zinner.  At one point, you’re in a room where they were recreating Stars of the Lid recreating the Twin Peaks soundtrack.  If the Haxan Cloak didn’t live up to be a chilly performance to look forward to, it was memorable for other albeit equally good reasons.

Colleen on Saturday afternoon was a great show, but symbolic of the bittersweet experience i had at this years Moogfest due to illness.

As Saturday evening approached,  i was able to latch on to a couple of good performances.  As with the nature of a festival like this, even if i wasn’t ill a couple of artists were going to be missed. (Octo Octa, S U R V I V E, the performance of the Stranger Things soundtrack, Talib Kweli, David Graham and the nature of media during the Trump administration, Michael Stipe discussion, KING and the 808 State general performance from Thursday are good examples)

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Noveller at Pinhook courtesy of EricWaters_ericwatersphotography

Although Colleen ended hours ago, moving on to Noveller at the Pinhook was a slow transition and that was disappointing for me.  One of the better performances last year was from Grouper. Noveller which is similar in ways should have been no different.   Maybe Grouper had the cozy advantage of the Carolina Theater but regardless.   Towards the end the droney, drifting and echoing sounds won me over despite her issue with the tremolo from an earlier appearance, but the performance of Colleen beforehand combined with my illness were reasons it started off slow for me.  I would be open to seeing her again without all the distractions.

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Pharmakon credit – Caleb Smallwood at ig@calebbsmallwood

In previewing Pharmakon, i compared her energy to Japanese noise artist Masonna. Perhaps she’s a level below when it comes to matching mayhem, but her intensity couldn’t be denied during her 30 minute set.   She stormed around the Motorco Music Hall focused on whatever compelled her convictions.  Militant distorted drum beats and random sounds fluctuated from chaos to steady like a power electronics act from a Cold Meat Industry label.  She tested the audience that stood in her way, jumping from the stage, marching across the floor, emitting a bellowing rage, flipping the chord of her microphone like an endless cape.  The audience was not bothered by it.  There would be no fight with it.  They wanted to hear what she had to say, despite her voice buried in maddening distortion and fury, despite the chord’s incessant contact with whoever cared to be in proximity.

Flying Lotus was a last minute watch.  Pharmakon’s performance went less than 30 mins and by coincidence he was running late.  The last couple of times Flying Lotus played it was in bigger venues than what i believed was more appropriate.   I was thinking to myself is it because he collabed with Kendrick Lamar?  Has it been this way all this time?  The park was flooded from front to back as i witnessed from the VIP area above.  It was a far distance but better than dealing with the crowd like i did last year with Grimes and Odesza fans from Moogfest 2016.  I was expecting more of a power performance with singer/collaboraters commanding the stage.  Oddly it didnt happen as much.  I thought to myself are his followers comparable to Grateful Dead fans?  with music combed from hip hop to psychedelic and jazz influences modernized by electronic while flirting with radio accessible songs in between?  The verdict is out on this one.

The overall theme was my struggle to make it through the event because of illness.  There’s other interviews, installations and performances i checked but i either didn’t enjoy it or was in no mood to even try.     It hasn’t dampened my opinion of the concept and layout of Moogfest though.  To me its more than a festival set up in the middle of nowhere.  Here’s to many more of them in the future.  Oh yeah did i tell you that Hannibal Buress interviewed Syrinx and Animal Collective?  I didnt watch the whole discussion but whatever i caught was fun. #moogfest2017

Early Friday morning sleep concert at Moogfest 2017 a popular attraction

One of the more interesting attractions of Moogfest last year was the the 8 hour sleep concert.  With Robert Rich performing, it was even more significant because it was a return to the overnight concerts he performed during the 1980s. Conflicting information about his last sleep concert vary. Moogfest and the local media reported his last sleep concert was in 2003. The Huff Post article posted a picture of him at the Red Bull Music Academy as late as 2014. Regardless of how long it has been the sleep concerts became a unique event with Rich incorporating ambient drones and other sounds to induce a realm between awake and sleep.

My experience last year was relatively short. I was placed on the waiting list and had no chance. I stayed at the Armory watching the riveting J-Lin performance until close. With luck i was able to be fit in afterwards. While the sleeping mattresses were occupied, my tired body was able to take in less than 2 hours of lying on the floor. I went back to my room near the airport after. I will be within walking distance this time.

The 8 hour sleep concert will happen again at Moogfest 2017, this time featuring American multi-instrumentalist Laraaji whose collaboration with Brian Eno in the late 70s would be the start of a long and prolific journey spanning three decades.  It will also be his very first sleep concert.

For more information go to moogfest.com and for tickets check out the the Eventbrite page for Moogfest 2017.

#moogfest2017  #laraaji  #sleepconcert