Category Archives: Posted by Doorknobs

Taking Sides: Boat Shoe Core

Quickly, before we start, a Google search:

Results 1 – 10 of about 28,500 for vampire weekend boat shoes. (0.31 seconds)

doorknobs: i’ve almost exclusively listened to vampire weekend today
doorknobs: i think i’m officially ostracized from cool kid club
Tyco Nightglow: guh
Tyco Nightglow: I bet you’re feeling very happy and twee
doorknobs: not particularly twee, but happy, yes
Tyco Nightglow: to me that’d be like eating nothing but lik m aid all day
doorknobs: man, what an asshole i am
doorknobs: haha
Tyco Nightglow: they really do just sound like guster or dispatch to me
Tyco Nightglow: not actively TRYING to be a grouchy hater
doorknobs: i know yr not
doorknobs: maybe i didn’t listen to enough guster or dispatch, but i don’t hear it
doorknobs: diff strokes/folks i guess
Tyco Nightglow: just artificially sunny
Tyco Nightglow: in a squint-inducing way
doorknobs: what makes it artificially sunny?
Tyco Nightglow: maybe I hate the sound of “happy”
Tyco Nightglow: haha
doorknobs: hahahahaha
doorknobs: yeah maybe
Tyco Nightglow: something about the tone of the voice, the tone of the guitars, and most importantly, the tone of the songs themselves just feels…..guh. Words are failing me on this one
Tyco Nightglow: it’s what one calls a “visceral dislike”
Tyco Nightglow: they seem like assholes and I hate them
Tyco Nightglow: there
Tyco Nightglow: is that concrete enough?
doorknobs: you see, i was with you when you were talking about tones of instruments and feel, and then……….
Tyco Nightglow: hahahaha
Tyco Nightglow: their music feels like music made for and by assholes
doorknobs: ok
doorknobs: i shouldn’t have brought this up
doorknobs: sorry
doorknobs: haha
Tyco Nightglow: haha
Tyco Nightglow: no I’m enjoying myself
doorknobs: clearly
doorknobs: :–(
Tyco Nightglow: 😀
Tyco Nightglow: :-*
Tyco Nightglow: 😛
Tyco Nightglow: aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand
Tyco Nightglow: :-X
doorknobs: hahah
doorknobs: there ya go
doorknobs: never to be spoken of again
doorknobs: however, i AM thinking about corner bistro tomorrow
Tyco Nightglow: YES
Tyco Nightglow: this I am down with
Tyco Nightglow: FEY
Tyco Nightglow: that is the word I am looking for
Tyco Nightglow: something horribly fey about the tone of the songs and the playing itself
Tyco Nightglow: all of Stephen Malkmus’s worst spoiled-prince tendencies married to little toy-keyboard shuffles that no weight or viscera
Tyco Nightglow: I viscerally react to a lack of viscera
Tyco Nightglow: this Nitsuh review, who I really really like, nails what he likes and what I dislike: Koenig, the lead singer, is a “happy observer who never bores you with how he feels”
Tyco Nightglow: he just sounds smugly, airily entitled to me, which I wouldn’t care about if he made music with some semblance of grit or life
Tyco Nightglow: okay, now I’m done
Tyco Nightglow: that was a tad more articulate, though, no?
Tyco Nightglow: though I do really like this Nitsuh review
Tyco Nightglow: I tend to like his writing more than the records he enthuses over, I find
Tyco Nightglow: RESPOND TO MY TORRENTIAL OUTPOURING
Tyco Nightglow: haha
doorknobs: hahahhaa
doorknobs: this is a great and studied and NOT DUMB response
doorknobs: thank you
doorknobs: “i think they’re assholes who make music for assholes” somehow wasn’t cutting it for me
doorknobs: haha
doorknobs: i ❤ nitsuh
Tyco Nightglow: hahaa
Tyco Nightglow: yes, I like nitsuh too
Tyco Nightglow: hey
Tyco Nightglow: think this could be an IM post?
doorknobs: mayhaps!
doorknobs: it might feel a bit one-sided w/o me saying why i actually LIKE these fuckers
doorknobs: haha
doorknobs: but
Tyco Nightglow: so….why do you like this????
doorknobs: lemme paraphrase myself from a different convo
Tyco Nightglow: please do
doorknobs: nothing that’s gonna convince anyone
doorknobs: but
doorknobs: thassok
doorknobs: i think it’s fun and well written and sincere and smart
doorknobs
: people may disagree with sincere, or take “smart” to mean the wrong thing (note: the loadedness all of a sudden of equating smart and COLLEGIATE, RE: nitsuh review)
doorknobs: but that’s how i feel
doorknobs: also, on a simpler note: i think the songs are really strong
doorknobs: and, as you know
doorknobs: i also just kinda think the arguments that are about their sweaters or what college they went to or saying the afro-pop part is “contrived” or whatever…it’s just so lazy and annoying to me
Tyco Nightglow: I think the Afro-pop isn’t so much “contrived” so much as another example of their giggliness
Tyco Nightglow: for lack of an actual word
Tyco Nightglow: haha
Tyco Nightglow: but I hear the general point
Tyco Nightglow: also: pretty much when people say that an indie rock band is “smart” or that their lyrics are “smart” this ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS means “collegiate”
doorknobs: yeah true
doorknobs: but when i first wrote that out, i meant smart as like “smart songwriting” or, like, smart/interesting arrangements, etc
Tyco Nightglow: right
Tyco Nightglow: that I buy
doorknobs: but the COLUMBIA/etc. connotations are too prevelant to ignore i guess
doorknobs: i also think they are distinctly different from, say, the decemberists, RE: smart/collegiate
doorknobs: and way way less willfully obscure/potentially annoying
Tyco Nightglow: hmm
Tyco Nightglow: I don’t know
Tyco Nightglow: here’s what I was going to say, but it took me too long to type it haha:
Tyco Nightglow: (it’s no longer relevant)
Tyco Nightglow: cuz lyrically “smart” usually means stuff like “What she asked of me at the end of the night/Caligula would have blushed” more than “Cops come blocking the
ave/I put the glock in the stash/slabs and tops in the trash/still stop and i laugh, ma put
them rock in your ass/ the rest twat in ya bag, dag, hop in a cab”
Tyco Nightglow: but yes
doorknobs: oh totally, i know what you mean
doorknobs: i’m not disagree w/that at all
doorknobs: i mean, it’s weird to say this considering how much we’ve talked about it, but i think the key to my enjoyment has been UNDERthinking and kinda gut enjoyment…..it worked for me and against you, in terms of enjoying it
doorknobs: but like
doorknobs: i think the first sentence (regardless of the rest of this mumbo jumbo i’ve typed out) just kinda sums up my take on them
doorknobs: and why i dig it
Tyco Nightglow: also, you’re an asshole
doorknobs: also, it’s hilarious that this could be an IM post
Tyco Nightglow: ZING!
Tyco Nightglow: cut, print, post

2 Comments

Filed under blogosphere echo chamber, IM, Posted by Doorknobs, Posted by Tyco, rock/roll

8 Diagrams: Mostly Awesome 3/4 of the Way through the First Listen


If you don’t know: 8 Diagrams.

Turns out we say dude a lot.  And laugh at our own jokes.  Shockah!

drillteamalex: god this “gently weeps” track is SO BEYOND UNNECESSARY
jaychampvinyl: hahaha
jaychampvinyl: ft. erykah badu
jaychampvinyl: =the kiss of death
drillteamalex: + john frusciante!!!!!!!!!
drillteamalex: uuuuuuuuuugh
jaychampvinyl: hahaha
drillteamalex: they get right back to it on the next track though
drillteamalex: “shot right through yr hovercraft”
drillteamalex: hahah
drillteamalex: OK DUDES
jaychampvinyl: hah
jaychampvinyl: gives me warm fuzzies to hear Meth and Ghost back-to-back again
drillteamalex: YES
drillteamalex: and ghost tones it down!
drillteamalex: and it doesn’t suck!
jaychampvinyl: I’d begun to forget that Ghostface was ever anything but a solo artist anymore
jaychampvinyl: yeah agreed
jaychampvinyl: beat on this one fairly nondescript tho
drillteamalex: first track?
drillteamalex: yeah it’s fine
jaychampvinyl: yes
drillteamalex: but it’s not, like, stupid
drillteamalex: which is good
drillteamalex: haha
drillteamalex: plus, dude
jaychampvinyl: haha
drillteamalex: KUNG FU SAMPLE!
drillteamalex: hahah
drillteamalex: durrrrrrrrrr
jaychampvinyl: right
drillteamalex: but yeah it’s good to hear
jaychampvinyl: Wu Tang fer DUMMIEZ
drillteamalex: i really like the next track
jaychampvinyl: yeah this is good
drillteamalex: and fuckin “rushing elephants”
jaychampvinyl: Raekwon fucking sounds good no matter what
drillteamalex: it’s true
jaychampvinyl: that voice
drillteamalex: there’s already a fucking detailed wiki on this
drillteamalex: gawd
drillteamalex: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/8_Diagrams
drillteamalex: “Rushing Elephants”
* Verse 1: Raekwon
* Verse 2: GZA
* Verse 3: RZA
* Verse 4: Masta Killa
* Produced by RZA

drillteamalex: oh man
drillteamalex: that’s what i’m talkin about
jaychampvinyl: ahaha
drillteamalex: rza produced or co-produced every track on here
drillteamalex: or should i say
drillteamalex: # “Sunlight”
* Verse 1: RZA
* Produced by RZA

drillteamalex: THAT’S what i’m talkin about
drillteamalex: hahahahaha
drillteamalex: ugh sometimes i feel like they really need the resist the “let’s have an r&b hook” urge
drillteamalex: like all the time, basically
jaychampvinyl: hahaha
jaychampvinyl: they DON’T NEED IT
drillteamalex: srsly!!!!!!!!!!!
drillteamalex: come on dudes!
jaychampvinyl: if anyone can fucking survive without a terrible R and B hook, it’s Wu
drillteamalex: yr not gonna score a hit with the ne-yo set!
drillteamalex: YR JUST NOT
jaychampvinyl: hahaha
jaychampvinyl: right
drillteamalex: ohhhhhhhh man
drillteamalex: rza’s flow is sooooooooooooooooooooo awkward!
drillteamalex: it’s so apparent when he has a “solo cut”
drillteamalex: haha
drillteamalex: dude.
drillteamalex: w
drillteamalex: t
drillteamalex: f
jaychampvinyl: what??
drillteamalex: “i’ve been / misunderstood by those who met us”
drillteamalex: “they had / ears of corn and heads of lettuce”
drillteamalex: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
jaychampvinyl: HAHAH
drillteamalex: COME
drillteamalex: ON
jaychampvinyl: RZA?
drillteamalex: YUP
jaychampvinyl: yessss
jaychampvinyl: U-God
jaychampvinyl: thoughts?
drillteamalex: he is the gertrude stein/wesley willis of rap
jaychampvinyl: hahahaha
jaychampvinyl: okay
drillteamalex: not u-god
drillteamalex: rza
jaychampvinyl: I was gonna say
drillteamalex: u-god is like the campbell’s tomato soup of rap
jaychampvinyl: U-God is, um, forgettable
jaychampvinyl: hahaha
drillteamalex: looks like they pulled streetlife away from his bag boy grind at the safeway long enough to put down a verse
drillteamalex: sweet
jaychampvinyl: HAHAHAHAHAHAHH
jaychampvinyl: dude
jaychampvinyl: that’s a fucking quotable and a half
jaychampvinyl: that statement is a blog post in and of itself
drillteamalex: nah right should have our IM convos on fuckin RSS feed son
drillteamalex: holla at yr IT specialist

3 Comments

Filed under IM, Posted by Doorknobs, Posted by Tyco, RAP MUSIC

Cass: Wist, Doom and L.A. via Baltimore

Safe to say I like Cass McCombs significantly more than anyone else I know. Not counting shadowy internet personalities, ‘course. I’ve had a Cass post somewhere in me for the last six months+, so it’s a bit odd/unsettling to just sit down and try and puke one out w/o a clear “thesis” or whatever. But I guess sometimes (okay, most times) that’s gonna be the only way to get something (ANYTHING) from digital ink to digital scroll.

Immediate heresy out of the way: I’m gonna focus mostly on A, Cass’s debut full-length, here, with probably a cursory stab at deflating Dropping the Writ, his latest, and almost completely fly by Prefection, the sandwiched LP. This is partly for sanity’s sake (I clearly need to feed my will bite-sized morsels) and also partly because the chinked-armor, basement looseness of A serves as the better contrast to the morning-sun-in-L.A., Devendra-as-the-Eagles milquetoast-ness of Dropping the Writ. Stay with me here (I’ll try the same).

Almost all of A drags. The drums are loping and aggressively drowsy; you could probably count the number of times the hi-hat gets hit on one hand. The sonic stew is essentially standard issue: guitars (clean electric, acoustic), bass, acoustic piano, keys, drums. It’s not like dude is e-bowing an electric violin or some shit. Even the stand-out elements – drone-y/buzzy keyboard, the super left-panned distorted electric guitar ripping on “Gee, It’s Good to Be Back Home” – are subtle-at-best.

Cass’ voice itself is a slightly off-kilter indie wheeze – it does well to be perma-brushed with reverb. Still, it’s affecting, and adds equally to the understated task at hand, wherein all these unremarkable things (standard instrumentation, dirge-y pace, post 90’s indie dude vox, general folk-rock) create an ENCOMPASSING sense of sincere emotion and doom.

There’s something in the repetition of A. There’s a paranoia and a DRONE to it – even when there are moments of swinging or lilting or gentleness, it’s almost MENACING. Even a determinedly passing look at the lyrics/themes (and believe me, I more determined to pass ’em by than anyone) seem to paint an anguish, a desperateness: “I went to the hospital / they put me in a bed / I may soon be gone / To pluck on our hearts”; “You ain’t gonna pin it on me / I don’t wanna hear your sermon / You spit like hypodermics”; heck, the entirety of “Meet Me Here At Dawn.”

Sure, from a distance there’s a teetering on WISTFULNESS or, like, indie MOR or somethin’, but this isn’t a fuckin’ soundtrack to yr post-work camomile, believe. These tunes (and YES, there are FER REAL TUNES on here) are enveloping and patient and HARROWING.

At this point, I’d almost rather not delve into Writ – a second installment perhaps. As way of a preface, just know: there is a dynamic shift more than anything else. There’s twinkle and vocal swells and some occasional (and occasionally welcome) sweetness, but what there AIN’T is MENACE. A minor, odd gripe I suppose, but there it is.

I Went to the Hospital [mp3]
Meet Me Here at Dawn [mp3]

3 Comments

Filed under Beatific sadness, Posted by Doorknobs, rock/roll

Cassie: This Ain’t Yr Daddy’s Rhythm Nation


Oh hai there.

So…r n’b. I’m not a popist or anything, but I’ve crawled out of my hate hole far enough to appreciate (and even OBSESS OVER) some of the neighborhood dudes n’ divas. Usually it’s the hit single, or whichever-album track-Rich Harrison-produced jams that shine through (you know: “1 Thing,” “Ain’t No Other Man,” every Ciara single ever, “Gotta Make It,” “Let Me Love You,” etc.) I’m not, like, pouring over Keisha Cole b-sides or anything, but its worth taking the collective finger off the mute button if you like pillowy synths n’ shit.

Considering all that, it’d be really really tempting to file Cassie neatly under “had one great track due almost entirely to its pansy/pounding production” (“Me & U”) like a lot of the highlights of contempo r n’b, but GUESS WHAT the album is actually pretty fuckin’ good!

First oddity out of quite a few: production consistency. R n’b (and rap, largely at this point) production tends to be all mercenary style (*guys in suits at Arista* “let’s get Scott Storch, Jazze Pha, Timbaland, The Neptunes and seven guys no one has heard of and add one reggaeton remix as a bonus track”). Which is fine n’ dandy and usually produces 1.5 good singles or so and then a lot of cookie cutter stomps and DRIPPY BALLAD CRAP. On Cassie, Ryan Leslie has produced just about every fake snare hit and vocal burp. At the risk of insulting all the Golden Age nerds, it’s an easy comparison to the Bomb Squad/Public Enemy or Primo/Gang Starr days when there were simply variations on ONE sonic palette. Obviously this dude isn’t Dr. Dre or something, but Ry Ry proves enough of a unique MIDI keyboard knob twiddler to make Cassie swing.

If there was any confusion, SONICS is mostly what I’m eyeing here. Cassie herself is basically a breathy alien supermodel. Which could be pretty compelling, but mostly is just kinda servicable here. The “lyrical themes” or whatever are boilerplate ’00s r n’b: “Look at me I’m hot, u want me, LOL”, etc. If anything, I occasionally daydream about how many imaginary points better this album would be with Ciara singing/monotoning all over it. The important VOID that Cassie shares with Ciara, though, is a total lack of show-offiness, which means no buzzkill wonky melisma (see: Mariah, Xtina ballads). YES, it might be because she just doesn’t have the pipes for it anyway, but, ummmm, THAT’S OKAY.

In any case, Cassie the SINGER is not really why we’re here, I’ll try and stick to the plot from here on out, starting with the most immediate slug-in-the-chest thing about the album: the SYNTHESIZERS.

The thing about the synths on Cassie is, it’s not just synths-as-keyboards. EVERYTHING is synthesized. The bottom-end of “Me & U” (a complete monster) is a synth’d CELLO. Elsewhere you’ll hear some processed harpsichord. Normally such upfront THIS MUSIC IS SUPER FAKEness might be a red flag for cheesedickery, but there’s something about the depths plumbed here that sells me. I mean, this album actually heavily features FLANGER. And it sounds GOOD! Every surface is polished and cold; it sounds mechanical, but it’s still FUN, which is pretty miraculous, indeed.

With all the processing, it’s a bit of a surprise that there’s such a MINIMALIST feel to a lot of the production, particularly the percussive elements. It’s lots of syncopated odds n’ ends – snaps, claps, shakers, TRIANGLE fer chrissakes. It all sounds super SHARP and clipped; there’s basically NO reverb. The production on Cassie sits way outside the Harrison/Just Blaze/Timbo axis of cascading snares/big horns/funk samples/etc. I kinda hate myself already for saying this, but the production here is the Suicide of contempo r n’b. Maybe a little less repitition and, like, cyberpunk-ness and whatnot.

In any case, the first five tracks on Cassie are immediate standouts, especially the ones with goofy r ‘nb spellings (“Me & U,” “Long Way 2 Go,” “Call U Out”). The second half dip dangerously into “No Scrubs”-y lite-ness. There are some neat sonic moments (fake dulcimer and harp on “Not With You”) and the songs never hit ballad rock bottom, but some of Leslie stretching his stylistic wings here falls flat. Thoughts:

– “Ditto” is like Annie by way of AARON CARTER.
– “What Do U Want” borders on popstress guitar pop ala Kelly & Avril (even has a “Girlfriend“-y breakdown); wait, wait, FLANGER AGAIN?!?

Cassie ends with the Basement Jaxx Jr. of “Miss Your Touch” – a funkier moment than any other on the record. It’s not a revelation or anything, but it’s a fun, flitty ummer bounce and its a decidedly welcome flittiness after an album of Big Dark Sounds.

A taste?

“Me & U” [mp3]
“Call U Out” [mp3]
“Miss Your Touch” [mp3]

5 Comments

Filed under Pop, Posted by Doorknobs

Parsing a Conversation about Middling Rap using Hypertext Links


I Google’d “mediocre rapper.” Seriously.

doorknobs: have you heard i get money rmx w/luda
doorknobs: ?
doorknobs: listening now
Tyco Nightglow: yeah
Tyco Nightglow: luda sounds great on it
doorknobs: “Lil Wayne – Waynes World Vol. 6”
doorknobs: it never ends
Tyco Nightglow: gawd
doorknobs: “Freeway – Flashing Lights Freestyle” wanna hear this though
Tyco Nightglow: I downloaded another one yeterday out of curiousity — it was TERRIBLE
doorknobs: really?????????????????
Tyco Nightglow: He’s running on empty
doorknobs: yikes
Tyco Nightglow: the beats were total garbage
Tyco Nightglow: his voice sounds more ragged than ever
doorknobs: dude you don’t even know
doorknobs: “Britney Spears ft Lil Wayne – Gimme More Remix”
Tyco Nightglow: he still has some good lines, but he sounds honestly like he’s completely exhausted
Tyco Nightglow: I don’t think he even knows what he’s doing anymore haha
Tyco Nightglow: yeah haven’t heard that one
doorknobs: man it’s hard to listen to a LOT of rap
Tyco Nightglow: haha – meaning that it’s hard to listen to rap in quantity or that lots of rap is hard to listen to?
doorknobs: i’m listening to this 3-6 mafia track with a “the final countdown” sample
doorknobs: terrible beat
Tyco Nightglow: yeah that sounds bad
doorknobs: and the last line was “chiefin with the rastas, i eat shrimp and pasta”
doorknobs: ……………………..
doorknobs: and this terrible multitracked r’nb hook
Tyco Nightglow: hahaha
doorknobs: uuuuuuugh
Tyco Nightglow: a year ago I would have defended that
doorknobs: luckily this same blog has a new sheek louch
doorknobs: :–)
Tyco Nightglow: SWEEEEEEEEEEEET
doorknobs: and a young buck song ft. trey songz!
Tyco Nightglow: Young Buck I still think is good
doorknobs: ps – what i meant is the volume is so HEAVY with remixes, new tracks, mixtapes, etc…it’s like dance music
doorknobs: so overwhelming
doorknobs: and so samey
Tyco Nightglow: right
doorknobs: hard work getting to the nuggets
Tyco Nightglow: VERY
Tyco Nightglow: I completely agree
Tyco Nightglow: I got tired of wading through so much crap
Tyco Nightglow: “This papoose verse isn’t as terrible as other papoose verses …. interesting…”
doorknobs: hahahah
Tyco Nightglow: “Hmmm this is quite the Hell Rell freestyle”
doorknobs: eeeeeeeeeeek
doorknobs: I WILL DOWNLOAD ANYTHING THAT FEATURES THE WORDS “ITS YR BOY, DUKE DA GOD
Tyco Nightglow: HAHA
Tyco Nightglow: have you seen the cover of Hell Rell’s new album?
doorknobs: nope
Tyco Nightglow: looking
Tyco Nightglow: damn can’t find it…it’s hilarious
doorknobs: “ya’ll pussycats, i knew ya’lls kittens / if we was young and we was cold, i woulda stole ya’lls mittens”
doorknobs: WHEEEEEEEEEEE
doorknobs: juelz freestyle
Tyco Nightglow: haha
Tyco Nightglow: I can’t find it, which is really disappointing
doorknobs: is it weird?
Tyco Nightglow: there’s a thumbnail here that doesn’t quite convey it’s majestic shittiness
Tyco Nightglow: http://www.xxlmag.com/online/?p=14049
doorknobs: loading
doorknobs: have you heard “pimp like me”?
doorknobs: twista
doorknobs: ?????????????
Tyco Nightglow: no I ain’t heard that
doorknobs: i’m 3/4 way in and
doorknobs: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
doorknobs: it’s got this minimal sub-bass-y beat
doorknobs: it’s like the crunk version of cassie “me & u”
doorknobs: and then it goes into this JUKE part
Tyco Nightglow: whoah
doorknobs: you know juke?
Tyco Nightglow: okay fucking SEND IT
doorknobs: the chicago thing where it’s double time
doorknobs: http://www.zshare.net/audio/2717719c32aa70/
Tyco Nightglow: yeah like “Watch My Feet” right?
doorknobs: yes
doorknobs: DUDE N’ NEM best name evah
doorknobs: hahahah btw, i had seen that hell rell
doorknobs: “Thought it was apple juice / now she drinkin’ pee pee”
doorknobs: WTF
doorknobs: (hell rell)
Tyco Nightglow: hahaha vintage Dips

1 Comment

Filed under IM, Posted by Doorknobs, RAP MUSIC

Is you is, or is you ain’t: Dubstep


Cubicle music is night music

I know dubstep is supposed to be, like, DARK and MENACING, but my fave tune of the moment in this microest of microgenres is a one-off comp cut that almost…flutters. “Unite,” from the anonymous dubstepper-of-the-moment Burial, is featured on Soul Jazz’s seemingly must-have Box of Dub comp. He’s already stood out from the Skreams, Loefahs, etc of the world because:

A) No one knows who he is (obv)
B) In his (admittedly limited) discography, the production BROODS way more than it POUNDS.

The lack of reliance on sub-bass stretches the limit (and definition, even) of the genre, new as it may be. Now, I know basically fuck-all about most of the recently popular UK electronic music waves (drum n’ bass, 2step, garage, etc) but there’s something in the subtle melody and light touch of “Unite” that makes me think Mr. Faceless doesn’t have as much of a fingers-in-ears attitude toward the recent past as the rest of the trailblazing d-step pack.

“Unite” sounds almost LILTING in a way that most other current ‘steppers would never touch. First of all: it fades in. There’s no rush, no throbbing, no urgency. There’s no off-setting percussive syncopation, it’s a carefully constructed shuffle. And man, the melody. A heavily reverb’d female vocal sample of “oohs” and “yeahs” with a dumbdumb simple repeating two chord piano part. It almost sounds like melodic Aphex Twin or something. I mean, IDM! The horror!

It’s the DUB that plants “Unite” (tenuously enough) in with the dubstep crowd. There’s reverb on everything, basically – all the little sonic elements bouncing off of each other until the coming-up-for-a-breath moment halfway in.

Final (but noteworthy) point here, RE: the bass. Most dubstep focuses on sub-bass THROB and syncopation, but the bass on “Unite” is that rare d-step breed: a bassLINE. It’s downright BOUNCY! I mean, not to beat the WTF-horse into submission, but…WTF, right?? It flits around and shit! It’s playful!

Anycase: the goods.

3 Comments

Filed under Beatific sadness, dubstep, Posted by Doorknobs

Harmony In Ultraviolet: Paranoia and WTF on a Sunday Night

So. Tonight. Started out with too many sports and one too many energy drinks. En route to “classic” Metal Night, it was The Studio’s Yearbook 1 (which, btw, is top five 2007). Night-is-young type of gently wistful 80-y Cure-in-Ibiza. Simple enough and figuring the night will be like any other late start. A drink or two and the trudge home. It’s what I expect at the bar: Kill ‘Em All, Faith No More, Sabbath. Work habit discussions, bar regular introductions, leftover whiskey. A slight tipsy, a longer-than-expected stay. Graceful exit around 2.

Start again with Yearbook, but even before leaving, I have Tim Hecker’s Harmony in Ultraviolet on the mind. Can’t say why. Yearbook comes off after 1/2 a block and the almost aggressive ambience of Harmony replaces. The whiskey tipsy already hits with a general weightlessness, etc, but something is going on now. It’s 2am on a Sunday, so obviously very few cars and even fewer street-walkers. I’m not keeping track of song changes, etc (a. cuz it’s ambient, who cares; b. cuz shit starts to HAPPEN, so, like, don’t jinx it).

There is a DISTORTION to this ambience that is unusual. It’s penetrating; unsettling; the first car I see is a cop car. One block later, another. No one on the streets. Huge, Ft. Greene townhouses each have one light on.

I’m walking and noticing EVERYTHING. It honestly feels like drugs; like an acute awareness offset with a certain loss of faculties. A new track starts and it’s like a movie, but, seriously (this is important), NOT CLICHE like it sounds. A simple three “chord” “melody” repeated. It drudges. It’s MONOTONOUS; pounding. I keep (KEEP) thinking that there is WAY too much artificial light. Abrasive street lights and supermarket signs. Bodega fake Christmas lights.

Two teenagers out of the corner of my eye coming from a Pratt dorm.

55 degrees; 2:12am.

The next track. I don’t want to break the “spell” – it seems important somehow. But I last only 10 or 15 seconds. It is unbearably and undeniably SCARY. I have to skip ahead.

By now I’m floating and I’m DESPERATELY trying to cram the images, sensations, facts, thoughts, circumstances, bullshit, etc. into some sort of permanence in my head-thing. I know I will lose it, but I figure I’ll “stream” it (as cheesy and DUH as that is).

Ok.

Just listen.

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Filed under Posted by Doorknobs, Stream, WTF