Saturday, May 21, 2011

Future Islands - In Evening Air

So I've been meaning to write about this album for a while and finally got around to it. For the last couple months I have been listening to this album like a Christian rocker listens to Creed.

As classified by the all-knowing Wikipedia machine, Future Islands is a Post-Wave band. I think Post-Wave is pretty spot on, but if I were to describe them in a little more depth I would say that Future Islands reminds me of the Postal Service's "Give Up" without Ben Gibbard's whining vocals and replacing them with Tom Waits. The trio is led by front-man Sam Herring, with J. Gerrit Welmers and William Cashion behind him.

The album is all about breaking-up and that is what helps make this an amazing album. In many of the songs Herring starts of in a soft tone, letting the rhythm of the base and drum kit and the melody of the synthesizer build the song until his vocals suddenly explode with emotion. The first song I ever heard from Future Islands was "Tin Man", and it was certainly one of those moments where I wonder what the hell is wrong with the music industry. While "Boom Boom Pow" is everywhere to be heard, I had to navigate through the deep catacombs of blog tombs to find this treasure.

After listening to "Tin Man" 20 times I decided to try there other songs and was not disappointed. "In Evening Air" holds three more gems in the opening track "Walking Through That Door", "Long Flight", and my favorite "Vireo's Eye". Enjoy.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Oddisee - Traveling Man

Much of the new music I come across is is thanks to online streaming sites such as MOG and Pandora. Finding Oddisee via MOG was no exception. Hailing from Washington D.C. Oddisee already has quite a few albums and mixes under his belt and is starting to work with artists all over the world to expand his production capabilities. Needless to say that he is a fresh take on hip-hop production bringing in a new era of hip-hop similar to how J-Dilla did last decade.

His album Traveling Man is a collection of instrumental tracks that stand alone as being incredible to listen to. Sounds weird having an instrumental hip-hop album that would be fun to listen to since lyrics are and integral part of hip-hop music, but Oddisee does an incredible job of keeping the listener occupied and entertained throughout the 24 track album. Most of the tracks are short coming in at less than 2 minutes, but this doesn't matter because the album flows together quite nicely and is meant to be listened to from start to finish.

Interesting interview to see how Oddisee views the music industry and where he is going from here.

I would almost consider it blasphemy to give only a few tracks from the album since the entire thing is spectacular, but I'm going to choose a few of my favorites to show examples of how varied and different the songs are.

Just do yourself a favor and get it.


Miami - Oddisee - Traveling Man by ak27

Oddisee: Inglewood by rufus_k

San Fran - Oddisee - Traveling Man by ak27

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Thecontrollersphere - of Montreal

Usually seen as being ultra progressive and avant-guarde of Montreal takes it to another level on their recent EP Thecontrollersphere. Made up of songs that were written and recorded for False Priest, but eventually left out Thecontrollersphere fits easily in place with its predecessor. Chiming in at only five tracks it still is a force, with tracks ranging from classic of Montreal dance tunes such as "L'age D'or" to straight eerie dark tunes as the opening track "Black Lion Massacre."

My absolute favorite track on the entire EP though is the lengthy tune "Holiday Call." Religious and sexual metaphors lace the entire song as is usual for many of of Montreal's tracks. Thumping bass and highly sampled dance drum machines are ever present driving the song from start to finish. Some of the other bizarre parts throughout the song would include the strange bridge occurring about halfway through, which contains a riveting Middle Eastern breakdown complete with a vibrant string section and psychedelic lyrics. "Holiday Call" ends with a very soothing piano coda, which ends the stress and brings closure to the entire song.

I've always loved of Montreal for their ability to push the limits of what is considered Pop music. Having commercial success it would be easy for of Montreal to put out conservative records that could appeal to larger audiences, but as most of Montreal fans know this isn't their style. Instead they choose to go the Frank Zappa and David Bowie route in pushing the envelope for what is tasteful and appropriate in music, where in a modern day auto-tune and simplicity rule. 

of Montreal - "L'age D'or" from "thecontrollersphere" by YiN Magazine

Of Montreal - Holiday Call by miojoindie