Monday, May 31, 2010

Freaking Coool: Ghostly Discovery

I love Ghostly International & Spectral Sound. I think they put out the best US Techno. This App is really cool.

Ghostly Discovery from Ghostly International on Vimeo.

Friday, May 28, 2010


I just got new tunes from these guys and I highly suggest checking them out. They make some awesome music. Kinda chillwave, kind dilla, kinda synthpop, all kick ass. I really dig the tune "DTUJJ", got a real nice headphone bounce to it. At the moment they only have two songs to their name, but both are boppers. Check them out here.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Cloud (Beats)

Cloud is a producer from New York who makes beats for bombing. The beats are reminiscent of early hip hop where tearing down whats around was a necessity. He keeps the sound and style at street level for the common people, he is not making big spacey synth style music. Check out below for a review of his Self Law beat tape.

Whats your goal for beats? Do you make them for artists to rap over? Are you trying to tell stories? I have read that Madlib makes beats for films in his head. I get the similar vibe from your tunes.

My goal is to destroy. I consider myself as more of a bomber than an "artist" or "producer". I am presently working with a Brooklyn emcee with whom, by the grace of the universe, I have discovered a genuine basis for collusion. But by and large I do not make beats for strangers to appropriate, although that is a freedom afforded to anyone that can access my music. For me, producing is not about money or notoriety or ambition; it's about an institution of the self, and it's about sending a message.

When did you start making beats? You have a bunch of beat tapes, all of which are solid. Do you find you make beats in fits and sprits or do you produce at a steady flow?

I started making beats six years ago. I made hundreds of tracks before really showing anyone anything, and hundreds more before I began to self-release material. Personally, I don't believe in composition, so an abstract style of production for me is an incessant channeling of my milieu. I am making beats all the time, even when I am not in the lab.

My favorite song is all city, its got some serious space vibes. Is space and futurism an inspiration for you? What serves as inspiration for you? Which artists do you vibe on?

I'm not really down with an academic or aesthetic idea of futurism, but I am interested in an idea of the future as a function of the past. I identify with Sun Ra in the film Space Is The Place; a messenger of the future sent to you by your ancestors. I am inspired mostly by the daily grind: taking the train to work, doing laundry, buying groceries. The artist I patronize most heavily as of late is Phonte.

Who does the art for your tapes? When making a tape are visuals a part of the process?

I've worked with a couple of artists, namely, Infamous Jean Claude, and this kid Eric Lopez from California. It's cool to be able to put trust in an artist to illustrate my music but ultimately that style of representation becomes arbitrary; the music produces its own images for every listener, and that can never be predetermined.

Part of what I like about music blogs are looks at local scenes. What part of New York City you from? Whats the scene like in your area? Are there any new artists that you are really stoked on?

I am originally from Long Island and then moved to Brooklyn where I plan on staying indefinitely. To be honest, I don't really connect to 99% of the musicians here. I don't really understand what they are trying to accomplish, nor am I even interested most of the time. The "scenes" I am most interested in are that of ordinary people and community; walking on the street, the faces of strangers, certain graffiti that catches my eye, etc.

This is my favorite beat tape from Cloud. These are beats for street level life. The occupy New York city streets and buildings, not the cosmic sounds of LA. The rhythems and sounds of modern life are inspiration for the tape. A personal favorite is the "All City" track with its spacey synths and serious groove. The tape features lots of classic soul samples and style. Self Law is reminiscent of early Pete Rock and J Dilla. A very good tape for beat fiends.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Dengue Fever

I like unique music. I listen to tons of all types of tunes, but every once and a while something is played that makes me stop and really listen. Dengue Fever is one of those bands. The band blends rock with 60's Cambodian garage music. It makes for a unique and pleasurable sound. Check out the interview below with Dengue Fever's Zac Holtzman.

What are the plans for this year? I know that you are on tour this summer, is there any plan for a new record this year?

There's more than plans. The last couple months we've been fixing up our studio was some amazing gear. We'll be laying down the drums and bass on to tape and we've got an arsenal of microphones to make Nimol sound like the angel she is. We've got about twenty tunes that we've been working on and actually need to whittle it down a bit.

I saw that you all released a compilation of Cambodian garage tracks, how were these selected? What is particularly unique about Cambodian garage rock?

Ethan and I picked most of the tunes from tapes, cds, that we collected in Long beach and Cambodia. We also found some of the songs on line. I think we we're first attracted to Cambodian music from the late 1960s and early 1970s because of the exotic vocal performances over familiar garage/surf/psychedelic elements. The singers do this "ghost voice" thing where they crack into a higher pitch. They also do a lot of snakey bends and quivers that I love.

Part of what I try to do for this blog is document regional scene. What is the current Cambodian scene like? I know that you all were the first western band to play the country since the fall of the khmer rouge, what was that like?

It was a trip. You should check out the documentary that we made while we we're there. As far as the current scene, I'll let you know in a week. We'll be back in Cambodia on the 10th of this month. I've heard there's also a few bands doing 1960s Cambodian revival type music.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Reading Rainbow

The awesomeness of Reading Rainbow should not be overstated. Besides for having a fantastic name, they put out great buzzsaw pop. They make the type of doo-wop fuzz punk that I love. Check out the interview below.

What is on the horizon for Reading Rainbow?

We just finished our 7" recordings for the second round of the HoZac Hookup Klub, and we are wrapping up recording for our full length album also coming out on HoZac this Fall. We pretty much just want to keep writing and recording more songs and play lots more shows.

Any plans for a tour anytime soon?

We are doing a mini-east coast tour with Woven Bones in July, and then we gotta tour this Fall to promote the album, which we are stooooked about!

You all about to release an album, how is that going? What can we expect from it?

We recorded 12 songs in a weekend last February, but since then we have changed our minds about the tracklist. So we are going to finish recording a few more songs at the end of this month and tweak some things. We are really looking forward to an upgrade in quality, since we are recording this album with The Magic Twig Community in Roanoke, VA. They have a super nice set up. It's still analog though! We used to (and still do) record ourselves on ree-to-reel.

Whats the philly scene like? Part of what I like about blogs is that you get to learn about regional scenes that you wouldn't get exposure to normally. Are there any bands that you are really stoked about? I know philly has a pretty cool beat/electronic scene, have you heard any of that?

We don't know anything about the beat/electronic scene, but there's tons of bands in Philly. We live in a part of Philly with a ton of venues and it rules. U.S. Girls, and The Spooks are our bros.

The band has a kinda lo-fi punk sound mixed with dual harmonies, how did you all come up with that? I really like how up tempo the songs are, do you find it easier to write faster songs? What bands do you look to for inspiration for the sound or style?

We arrived upon the whole "lo-fi" thing as a result of recording things ourselves. Rob was in a band years ago and they recorded on an 8 channel reel-to-reel and those songs were scuzzy as shit! (They sounded really tight though) He also recorded his solo project Sprained Ankles that way right before we started Reading Rainbow. Like we said above though, We are really looking forward to an upgrade in our sound. It's true that we like the aesthetic of things sounding muddy and fuzzy. But it's even more important to hear everything! So we're keeping some fuzz for the viiibe most definitely.

With a 2 person band, we try to be as full sounding as possible, so one way to achieve that is by singing in harmonies. As for the punk thing, thats just how we do. we punk as fuuuuuuck. haha! But we don't just have fast songs. There's a lot of variety on our full length album "Mystical Participation". (there's also a super chilled-out "Stephanie Says" " VU cover on the b-side to our Restless 7") We love bands like The Velvet Underground, The Ramones, DEVO, The Urinals, Sun Ra, The Beatles, Everly Brothers, Smokey Robinson, Nirvana, Wire...