Dan Deacon

Hey y’all. It’s been a while since my last mixtape but I promise this one is wicked awesome to make up for the past few months. I’ve been busy with final exams and…graduating. So, if you’ve graduated, this is in dedication to you! And if not, it’s in dedication to you anyways! To summer and adventures! Let’s celebrate! In the words of ‘Ye: “Yes, barely pass any and every class, looking at every ass, cheated on every test. I guess this is my dissertation. Homie this shit is basic, so welcome to graduation! Get on down!”

DownloadWelcome to Graduation Mixtape

Pet Shop Boys

01 | Pet Shop Boys – Did You See Me Coming?

Despite the fact that Yes is Pet Shop Boys 10th studio album, they show no signs of slowing down powering out hits like this one. The entire album is great to listen to and ranks right up with their previous release Fundamental that gave synth pop a new face of minimalism. This track destroys the dance floors and will be Pet Shop Boys’ next single from Yes!

Röyksopp

02 | Röyksopp – The Girl and the Robot

Aaaah how we all love Puffball Mushroom (way to represent in costume Torbjørn)! Junior is an album that slightly moves away from the more downtempo ambient tendencies of Melody A.M. and the Understanding with songs like ‘Happy Up Here’, ‘Tricky Tricky’, ‘Vision One’, and this one, ‘The Girl and the Robot’. Watch the video for the latter below. It totally kicks ass and gets me excited for a potential Röyksopp tour…if the stage set up is anything like the one in the video, I will be so stoked! I love Robyn too, she knows how to shake it.

Continue reading the ‘Welcome to Graduation’ Mixtape »

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— , May 25, 2009    3 Comments

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

School of Language

After an extended hiatus, the musical lexicon has returned! I’m having cognition issues today (probably due to seasonal affective disorder, bloody blizzards) so I apologize for the lack of witticisms.

Progressive Rock

Ah, the awesomely indulgent genre of Prog Rock, one of the vestiges of the early 70’s (other than streaking and pet rocks). Many listeners and critics view Prog to be synonymous with “pretension”, and they’re not off the mark. It started with noble intentions… to change the disposable feel of common pop rock into artistic statements. The concept album – an LP tied around a theme, story, or sound – found its roots in the progressive movement. Often appropriating from classical music, the disciples of prog often incorporated a more lush, orchestral sound into their tunes. A few examples at the time included the Moody Blues, Frank Zappa, Genesis, Yes, and of course, Pink Floyd. While most Prog came out of the UK, there are a few very notable exceptions.  Miles Davis and his contemporaries could also be considered among the finer progressive musicians, and some neat stuff came out of Brazil (ie. Os Mutantes) and Italy (ie. Banco del Mutuo Soccorso) among other places.

Where did everyone go? There were some indie hipsters here a minute ago. A sweet recent demonstration of prog is School of Language’s Sea from Shore. SoL is side project for David Brewis of Field Music, featuring a few members of The Futureheads (who have a new album coming out in a few days, actually). With guitar work reminiscent of a combination of The Stills’ somber strumming and twee-like jangle but without the Prozac, combined with Brewis’ s occasionally high-pitched warble and a lush layering of noise, Sea from Shore is pretty ensnaring. True to its progressive form, School of Language takes a theme & a sound and run with it; by the end of each song, the mood has been built up and brought down as smooth as waves from the ocean (okay, the water simile was a little corny). Here’s the vid for Rockiest Pt. 1 and one of the best tracks from the album.

School of Language – Extended Holiday

Dubstep

Dubstep originated in the early days of house music, within the UK Garage phase of electronica. Stylistically, the genre borrows elements from dub reggae, but with a considerably darker sound. The focus of the tracks revolves around a stark, drum-machine beat, with accents of synth and (usually haunting) sampled vocals.  This is all pieced together in a minor key (that’s the sad key, for the non-musically inclined). House experts will be able to tell you more about the characteristic beats-per-minute and all that jazz.

Once of the most recent and lauded albums in this field is Untrue by Burial. I’m not going to lie; I’m not really the biggest fan of this album. I can appreciate it as a piece of creative work of music, but it just doesn’t appeal to my taste (similar to my sentiment toward Prince). It’s worth mention though, since it got a fair bit of coverage last year. It’s good to stay informed, I say. Also, I had this entry half-written since late January, and a few of the songs have actually grown on me. And, who doesn’t like an anonymous musician? That’s half the reason that Prozzak got anywhere.  Here’s a sampling:

Burial – Near Dark
Burial – Homeless

Shoegaze

Okay, okay, I’ve done this one before. Basically, I loves my shoegaze, and I feel that it’s my responsibility to keep the Ca Va Cool community afoot of the new releases in the genre. So, let’s skip the Oxford Dictionary definition and go right to the common usage. That would be – A Place to Bury Strangers. I was a bit late to pick up this one (it’s been around since August). In my opinion, this is the best recent album in the genre since Serena Maneesh. They did take their liberties with using Jesus & Mary Chain as an influence though; their “I Know I’ll See You” is eerily reminiscent of JAMC’s “In a Hole”.  But, let’s face it, I’d borrow from JAMC if I could play an instrument too. And they haven’t had any riots yet, that’s good!

A Place to Bury Strangers – To Fix the Gash in Your Head
A Place to Bury Strangers – I Know I’ll See You

The Jesus and Mary Chain – In a Hole

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— , March 9, 2008    Comments Off on Indie Rock Lexicon: Progressive Rock, Dubstep, Shoegaze