Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Science of Sleep: An Electronic Lullaby

My latest Difference Engine column. Usually, I try not to get personal with my criticism, but for this one I couldn't help myself.

Monday, January 17, 2011

"Will there be another time
Will there be another time
Another year, another wish to say?

Will there be another time
Will there be another time
Another year, another wish to stay?

When the evening light wants to be so bright
And the morning sound is out of sight
Can there be another word to say
Or do we have to give it all away?"

-Nico "Sixty-Forty" (also covered by Broadcast)

A few recent reviews

Haven't been keeping up with blogging my reviews lately. Illnesses, upcoming lifechanging events, and the like slowing me down more than usual. Here's a few thing:

A short on the fence take on Shed's The Traveller that seems like it was written eons ago and was finally published:

"The bits and sketches on The Traveller feel like cropped portions of a painting, delineated fractions of the whole lost in transportation, spilled out of the luggage and shattered into shards on the hotel room floor."

A bit longer on Plastikman's career-spanning Kompilation:

It wasn’t a music that sought to expose the secret organic mess of industrialization a la post-punk. Rather, it dispelled the rhetorical agitprop and questions of control/agency altogether and found quiet glory in the pure automatization of late capitalist production, the churning out of military equipment and records equal gears in the same engine.

And then a brief one on Shoegazey wide-eyed Tears Run Rings

I've also got a brief blurb on Arp in the Slipped Discs section on albums that escaped our Top 60 Albums at PopMatters

Friday, January 14, 2011

Make Her Sleep My Song

Absolutely devastated to her about Trish Keenan passing...
Broadcast have been my favorite group for some time now, even as they whittled down to a duo as of late. And though I rarely hold much stock in vocalists, Keenan's gorgeous commandingly sirenic voice was the epicenter of it all. Broadcast could easily fill 3 if not 4 of my top 20 of the naughts list (if I ever get around to making one).

So many incredible ones...might as well revisit the entire discography.

RIP Trish

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Best Television of 2010

I really didn't see that many films in 2010 due to the whole having a kid thing (still waiting to see Black Swan, Enter the Void, Red Riding Trilogy, Never Let Me Go, The Other Guys, Let Me In, True Grit, etc.) Instead, my wife and I did watch a ton of television.

As such, I've contributed to PopMatter's list of Best in Television with blurbs on my top two picks. Here's the full list.

1. Louie
2. Party Down
3. Friday Night Lights
4. Community
5. Dead Set
6. Fringe
7. Treme
8. Children's Hospital
9. Mad Men
10. Lost

Of the films that I did see, my top picks would probably be Splice, Scott Pilgrim vs the World, and the criminally underrated Shutter Island.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Dark Corner of the Multiverse

A review of the Multiverse (Tectonic, Kapsize, Vertical Sound, Caravan) comp from 2010, finally published at PopMatters.

Here's a taste:

"Music has been tracing in dark directions recently. Think witch house, Ben Frost, minimal wave, Miasmah Records, Ancient Methods, Ekoplekz, LA Vampires & Zola Jesus, Type Records, the sadly shortened Throbbing Gristle reunion, Demdike Stare, John Carpenter and Alan Howarth obsessions, et al. Perhaps this gravitation towards more sinister realms has come about because it’s easy to imagine austerity 2010 as dystopia now, a journey from the light, the dreaded cyberpunk end-product of corporate colonization where government and media are functionary arms of business ontology and the slow subtraction of quality of life standards is accelerated to repay the gambling debts of the permanent aristocracy. It seems appropriate that the music of the shadows would match the mood on the streets. Any modern day eschatology of this kind can find roots in the Rastafarian apocalypticism of dub, with it’s becoming-third-world backdrop. Thus, a re-examination of the dystopian origins of dubstep (first made in a far more dubby form than exists now) seems appropriate, as the genre seems to have imagined our current predicament before the fact.

"The compilation Dark Matter: Multiverse 2004-2009 is acutely titled. The “dark matter” of the title refers to both the shaded hue of much of the content (Joker’s neon Rayleight scattering being the major exception) and the astronomical concept of “dark matter”, which is a hypothetical gravitational force that is undetectable, but inferable from the surrounding observable matter. Dark matter in the latter sense is an argument for the influence of the space between, those negative dub apertures which imbue those notes and interspersed riddims with so much more intensity. The paranoia of dubstep then is theoretically proper. Whereas psychedelia seeks to unite all notes until one is indistinguishable from the other, dub estranges and alienates them, examining how one note can never really know another.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

RIP Mick Karn

A fantastic talent and a bass genius. So crucial to the Japan aesthetic, their albums would have been miserable flops without him.