Burial & Four Tet

Late last week, news emerged that the previously anonymous yet still reclusive dubstep producer Burial (recently discovered to be a low key Londoner by the name of Will Bevan) and eclectic electronic mastermind Four Tet (Kieran Hebden) would be releasing a split 12” on Hebden’s TEXT label called Moth / Wolf Cub. Very little information has been released on the project as of yet, but a copy of the full A-Side has been floating around online, along with a clip of the B-Side.

Burial & Four Tet – Moth
Burial & Four Tet – Wolf Cub (Preview)

Listening to ‘Moth’ and ‘Wolf Cub’, it becomes difficult to tell which one is the Burial track and which is the Four Tet track, or if, as I sincerely hope, the two producers are working together. The glitchy electronic melody found on ‘Moth’ automatically reminds me of Four Tet’s previous work, particularly on Everything Ecstatic, while the “girl next door” vocal samples and beat are unmistakably a contribution from Burial. This confusion is furthered on ‘Wolf Cub’, where a driving dubstep beat ripped from Burial’s self titled release is paired with digitally manipulated chimes that scream of Hebden’s recent work with Steve Reid. While I’m guessing that ‘Moth’ is a Burial track and ‘Wolf Cub’ is a Four Tet endeavor, I sincerely hope that the two are collaborating on the same tracks. If Burial and Four Tet have worked together on these tracks, this means that two of electronic music’s most original and engaging producers may have subsequent releases in the works, together. Get excited.

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— , May 5, 2009    5 Comments

Due to the joys of peer-to-peer technology, Veckatimest, the latest from Grizzly Bear, has already made its way into many hard drives and hearts. Like other highly anticipated releases from this year, namely Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavilion, and Yeah Yeah Yeah’s It’s Blitz!, these leaks have allowed anxious, obsessive fans such as myself the pleasure of previewing the record before its proper release and figure out whether we’ll shell out the $13.50 at HMV on that special Tuesday. After having Veckatimest on repeat for the better part of 2 Weeks (pun intended), I will be paying top dollar once it drops in May.

I’ve been a big fan of Grizzly Bear since Yellow House was released, and have been drawn to the lush arrangements, beautiful harmonies, and highly emotive atmospherics that characterize the band’s sound. While I loved Yellow House, I often felt that the record’s reverb-heavy sound and dense orchestration often obfuscated the contribution of each of the players. Put simply, it felt more like a studio record, and less like a band record.

On Veckatimset, Grizzly Bear sound much more like a band than on their previous release. Tracks like ‘Cheerleader’ and ‘Ready, Able’ emphasize this. However, Grizzly Bear are able to maintain the psychedelic tones that define their sound, creating a combination of strong musicianship and meticulous recording techniques that makes this record truly incredible. The best example of this is the much buzzed about ‘2 Weeks’, a track which finds Grizzly Bear applying swirling harmonies and lush soundscapes to a sweet sounding pop song that wouldn’t sound out of place on Pet Sounds. While Horn of Plenty demonstrated Grizzly Bear’s potential and Yellow House defined the band’s sound, Veckatimest will likely prove to be the record that ‘breaks’ Grizzly Bear into a wider fan-base. It’s simply the best record Grizzly Bear have yet released.

I often find myself comparing Veckatimest to the Merriweather Post Pavilion, due to the high degree of music-blog love going towards each record, the new pop-focus of each record, and, simply, how incredible each record is. It will be interesting to see how 2009 best-of lists turn out come December, as each record is so impressive. Where Merriweather was defined by its transcendence of simply being an ‘electronic’ record, Veckatimest is defined by its transcendence of being a ‘folk’ or ‘indie’ record. When 2010 comes around and Ca Va Cool picks its favorite records from the past year, I’m placing even money on these offerings, the same even money I’ll be paying in penance for downloading the leaks of both records.

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— , March 15, 2009    5 Comments

Tapes 'n' Tapes

In order to mark the end of this momentous month, I figured a diverse mix of one-off love and non-love tunes that I really enjoy would be appropriate. First off is from a band that I have previously repped on this site, Animal Collective.  While I stand by my previous statement that Avey Tare is the weaker singer on Strawberry Jam, I picked up the bands previous release Feels, and was blown away by both the uniqueness of his vocals and lyrics, which give an impression of stream of consciousness despite the evident thought that went into the construction of images and metaphors.  Grass is easily the most ‘single-worthy’ track on the record, and for good reason – its beautiful, jarring, and honest.

Animal Collective – Grass

Next up are the sweet European melodies of a 22 year old from New York, Zach Condon, known also as Beirut.  The most recent long player, The Flying Cup Club, is a solid collection of songs.  The word swoon gets thrown around a lot in reference to different music, but I definitely think it can accurately describe this track, A Sunday Smile.

Beirut – A Sunday Smile

Finally Tapes ‘n’ Tapes probably get a bit more attention than they deserve, but its not completely without warrant.  The Loon contains a few throw away tracks, but the majority of the songs really get me, especially Manitoba.

Tapes ‘n’ Tapes – Manitoba

And now for the explicitly non-love songs.  First comes Man Man.  The word crazy, much like swoon, gets overused to describe music, so I won’t use it here.  Instead, I will say this – I am absolutely terrified of Man Man. Stay away from my house, but make more songs like this.

Man Man – Black Mission Goggles

Lil’ Wayne is a God.  No two ways about it.  I can’t express how serious I am when I say this.  This qualifies as a non-love song cause he took Young Jeezy‘s ‘I Luv It’ and turned it from terrible to excellent (PUNtacular).

Lil’ Wayne – Blooded

Finally, this song is a little old, but nothing says ‘love’ like a song about strippers.  Thanks to The Faint!

The Faint – Worked Up So Sexual

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— , March 1, 2008    5 Comments

It seems that I only really find out about classic artists from before my time through those who cite them as sources, like so many Wikipedia links in the footnotes of so many papers failed by so many irate Professors. Interpol cite Joy Division, The Arcade Fire cite The Boss (who, as previously stated by Will, is not Rick Ross), Bloc Party cite Mozzer, and Bright Eyes cites The Cure.

Such was the way I stumbled upon Daniel Johnston. Curt Cobain was a huge fan. Sonic Youth had him open for them. He did a record with Jad Fair from Half Japanese. Brand New (I can see your smirk through the screen, they updated their sound – its much more Nirvana than Nineteen-year-old-mall-punk) named their latest record after a conversation regarding this singer. One of my favourite records from the summer, M.Ward‘s Post War, contains an excellent cover of “To Go Home”. Further, Matthew Good has put out a fine rendition of “True Love Will Find You in the End”” (a truly heartbreaking song due to its simplicity and directness) on his latest record. After all of these tangents converged, I began to wonder, who is this truly exceptional songwriter that I have never head of?

Daniel Johnston is a manic depressive, borderline schizophrenic visual artist from West Virginia who believes that God and Satan are engaged in a battle over his soul. I watched the documentary The Devil and Daniel Johnston last night, and it simply broke my heart. Read the Wikipedia entry on him for further backstory. Johnston’s recordings of his own songs are, for the uninitiated, a little jarring. However, when placed in the hands of more talented performers, the beauty, honesty, and simplicity of Johnston’s songs become apparent. Everyone has covered him, so if you have some favorite covers, throw some links into the comments section. I’ve also picked out one of the better performances of Johnston’s for your listening pleasure.

M.Ward – To Go Home (Daniel Johnston Cover)

Matthew Good – True Love Will Find You in the End (Daniel Johnston Cover)

Daniel Johnston – Story of an Artist

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— , February 13, 2008    2 Comments

I hope that 2008 is treating everyone absolutely stunningly. After nearly a month of recharging my batteries in the States (Clipsburgh Pistolvania Represent), I have returned to school with both a new lease on life and a new blogosphere bandwagon that I have jumped on. As previously referenced in passing,  I am very much enamoured with Vampire Weekend, a highly talented and unfortunately named band. While the name of the band sounds like it was taken off of the front of a Hot-Topic bestselling T-Shirt, Vampire Weekend crafts an incredibly catchy mix of pop melodies and African harmonies. The lyrics of the band’s XL debut (due out Tuesday) read like the life-and-times of a priveliged New England 20 something WASP struggling with love and lust (Did I mention the band met at Columbia?). If that description doesn’t spark any intrigue, I’ve got nothing for you. Check out “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” and “Walcott” below, and expect more frequent updates from the Blogosphere Bandwagon coming soon.

Vampire Weekend – Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa
Vampire Weekend – Walcott

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— , January 27, 2008    1 Comment