Suuns: “Red Song”

In the undulating analog clip for "Red Song," the face of Suuns' Ben Shemie gets flexed by fingers and torqued in tracking. It could almost function as a surreal hostage tape for the self, if we could decipher any of Shemie's soft-sung demands. "Red Song" makes a paranoid progression that jives with the steady panoptic gaze here, Shemie turning even his insides out for all to see. He explains the process and in-cutting:

The video was shot on an old VHS recorder that we picked up on tour somewhere in the southern United States for 4 bucks, which gives it that old video look. We also grabbed a handful of old home videos and some other tapes; some self-help stuff, excercise tapes, some religious videos, and a Dragonball-Z animation. Just randomly threw the tapes in and started recording clips. Mostly it came out fuzzy or obscured. We didn't really try and select cool parts, just whatever turned up on the screen. The Dragonball-Z parts just seemed to fit well: pretty intense action scenes that are bleached out from sitting on a shelf for however many years. There appears to be a kind of resurrection scene in those clips that compliments the relatively static nature of the video. --Dale W. Eisinger, Altered Zones

"Red Song" takes the b-side for the new Sunns 12" Bambi, out now on Secretly Canadian

Galapagos: “Feel Things Inside”

18-year-old Phoenician Jacob McNaughton, aka Galapagos, posted a chopped and chipmunked rework of Jennifer Hudson's "No One Gonna Love You" that has enough hiccuping pitch-shifted vocal stabs and dizzying arpeggios to keep you watching the young producer through the new year. Go ham on his Bandcamp and download his discography, and keep your eyes on his Soundcloud for more tracks to come. --Ric Leichtung, Altered Zones

MP3: Galapagos: "Feel Things Inside"

Keep Shelly In Athens: “Campus Martius”

Greece's Keep Shelly in Athens just dropped the title track from their forthcoming EP for Planet Mu. "Campus Martius" thickens as its layers of synth melodies envelop this appropriately autumnal groove's piano loop. --Matt Sullivan, Altered Zones via Boiler Room



Campus Martius drops December 5th on Planet Mu

Grabbel and the Final Cut: “The Finest Thing”

Out of feedback squalls and a rushed drum count-off comes a massive guitar banger, "The Finest Thing," the newest of Captured Tracks' 7" shoegaze reissues, this one from German noiseists Grabbel and the Final Cut. The band formed in 1989, two years after The Cure released "Just Like Heaven," which may point to the band's influence here--riff much on that guitar line, Grabbel? "Psycho Popsong" and "Out of Work and on the Dole" grace the 7" as well, dropping January 24. -- Dale W. Eisinger, Altered Zones

MP3: Grabbel and the Final Cut: "The Finest Cut"

Pete Swanson: “Misery Beat”

Former Yellow Swans member Pete Swanson harnesses crystalline polyrhythms toward militant ends in "Misery Beat," a brash house music monster from his new Type Records LP, Man With Potential. The abusive four-on-the-floor sneaks in under the ripple of radar blips, framing synth peels that sound much more euphoric than pained. In the Megazord-cut clip above, laser beams and strobes set the groundwork for dancefloor madness. Only when the smoke clears from the test pattern is it clear that "Misery Beat" offers stern warnings on the hypnosis of sound and light. The NYPD would be wise to blast this on LRAD. -- Dale W. Eisinger, Altered Zones

Man With Potential is out now on Type Records

Holy Other: “Touch (Live at Rewire Festival 2011)”

Fall's arrival has left me reminiscing about 2011's best music, and the ghostly R&B echoes of Holy Other's zoned in EP, With U, come quickly to my mind. In this YouTube video of his live performance at this year's Rewire Festival in Den Haag, standout track "Touch" is accompanied by light work that highlights the staccato clips of percussion with bright, sudden strobes. The economic set-up allows for the negative spaces to pop out between his mayor-of-the-graveyard podium presence and the subtle shades of blue on the screen behind it, letting the darkness take the driver's seat. --Matt Sullivan, Altered Zones

Hubble: “Hubble’s Hubble”

Today we are treated to the collaborative fruits of recently profiled artist Hubble and the telescope itself.  Ben Greenberg, aka Hubble, crafted the ambient drone and mesmerizing fret taps of Hubble Drums' cut "Hubble's Hubble" to soundtrack the cosmic imagery captured by The Hubble Space Telescope in the video above.  This science-meets-art pairing is all the result of two dudes listening to tunes over a Thanksgiving dinner.  In an interview with NPR's Lars Gotrich, Ben Greenberg, aka Hubble, explains:

The collaboration was the brainchild of two great men over a great meal, and naturally I wasn't either of them. Michael Azerrad wrote the book Our Band Could Be Your Life (and, more important to my early musical development, Come As You Are: The Story Of Nirvana) and Max Mutchler works at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI for short, he also discovered Pluto's second and third moons — so cool!). Michael showed Max my music over last year's Thanksgiving dinner, and a short while later I received an email from Max proposing that we work together. Max set me up with Tiffany Borders over at STScI, and I brought in Sheena Callage to help put the whole thing together.  As obvious as this may seem in retrospect, there's no way I could have come up with it on my own.

Greenberg clarifies that what we are looking at in this video is the M81 galaxy:

Its spiral arms wind all the way down into the nucleus and are made up of young, bluish, hot stars formed in the past few million years, while the central bulge contains older, redder stars. Zooming directly into this red center, we wind up in the midst of the glowing gas ejected by a dying Sun-like star called a planetary nebula. We continue to explore other planetary nebula forms with amazing and confounding shapes. They dance for us, and morph into one another, entrancing and beautiful, inviting reflection on our place in the Universe, tenuous as it is. At the musical, physical, and emotional climax, we confront a light echo, the expanding illumination of a dusty cloud around a star, pulsating along with the music, echoing the grand celestial end, but also foreshadowing an inevitable and shattering re-birth.

Hubble Dreams is out now on Northern Spy. Release party at 285 Kent in Brooklyn tomorrow night. --Mark Craig, Altered Zones via NPR

Boy Friend: “Egyptian Wrinkle”

Between their known history and stylistic similarities, Christa Palazzolo and Sarah Brown's current project, Boy Friend, is destined to be compared to their former band-turned-solo-project, Sleep ∞ Over. But in "Egyptian Wrinkle," the Austin duo's  title track from their upcoming debut proper for Berlin's Hell, Yes Records, they breathe an urgency into the wall of organ, synth, and slide guitar that is unique from the layered bedroom meditations of Forever, and more in line with this past year's Lovedropper 7" or their old work on the Outer Limits 7". On record, you can the electricity of their live set; Christa's lively, dancing croon while calmly multitasking behind her keys and Sarah's stoic, ruminating stance while methodically manipulating her echoing guitar seem as vivid in your mind as they would in real life. --Matt Sullivan, Altered Zones

MP3: Boy Friend: "Egyptian Wrinkle"

The Egyptian Wrinkle LP is due to drop February 6th, 2012 on Hell, Yes Records

Maria Minerva, d’Eon Remix Peaking Lights

Maria Minerva and d'Eon just dropped their own versions of "Birds of Paradise" and "Hey Sparrow," adding to Peaking Lights' ever-expanding roster of top notch remixers that includes the likes of DaM-FunK, Main Attrakionz, and Patten, all of whom appear on the forthcoming '936' Remix LP. But if you're craving even more from Madison's best husband-and-wife duo, Peaking Lights are curating additional 936 re-workings by Damu, Sunless '97, Cadenza, and Doldrums available streaming at 936.fm. --Mark Craig, Altered Zones via Gorilla Vs Bear

Peaking Lights: "Birds Of Paradise (Maria Minerva's Ooh Aah Eh Edit)"

Peaking Lights: "Hey Sparrow (d'Eon Remix)"

The UK/Europe release of 936 drops tomorrow on Weird World, the same place you can pick up the limited '936' Remix 12"

--previously

MP3: Peaking Lights: "Marshmellow Yellow / Amazing and Wonderful (Main Attrakionz Remix)"

Stream Co La’s <i>Daydream Repeater</i>

Since its debut earlier this year, Matthew Papich's Co La project has always exuded the exotic and the luxurious. Papich indirectly admits this, but his forays into the "New Anything" sound are all the evidence we need: fresh as a new suit, warm from soaking up the sun on some tropical yacht party, but always embodying a professional composure. A classy take on the sometimes bombastic game of electronic music where subtle re-inventions of the source material are allowed to roam freely, teasing us like the almost-nudes of each release's cover art.

With Daydream Repeater, the first vinyl full-length for NNA Tapes and for Co La, Papich extends this aesthetic to new peaks and makes more obvious the intriguing duality of his music. Because, even with all this talk of gentlemanly pursuits of epic proportions, Co La jams are raw as hell. While the ingredients are slick, the arrangement of them is usually hard-hitting in its simplicity. Bmore club's propulsion and pure energy are kept alive-- but in place of shouts, gun shots, and overt sexual gestures are the sweeping elegance of a cleanly cut Ronettes loop and classically Co La high-pitched vocal interjections. Even in territory where the dancefloor is a little less pronounced, like the off-kilter disco/dub stutter of "My Jamaican," there's a confidence in the material that empowers these recycled bits of culture to stand on their own. It's been Papich's game for awhile now, but after a hyped year of perfecting his craft, Repeater comes at the right time for him to make a definitive avant-luxury statement --Matt Sullivan, Altered Zones



Daydream Repeater
is available now on NNA Tapes