Tuning In: About Tuning Into The Obscure + Contact info and Submissions

Hi!

You’ve found the front page of Tuning Into The Obscure! I know the date on this says May of 2011, but ignore that. Scroll down for new content.

And now, the obligatory front page bio stuff and contact info….

Over the past few years, I’ve been on a mission to find the best music on the planet, whether it be old, new, well known, obscure, underground or mainstream, or completely unknown previously. I started this project on an older, more personal blog but eventually figured it’d be easier to post all the music stuff here.

So here, you’ll find reviews on a variety of genres as well as interviews with artists and labels, spotlights on musical history, band previews and other various ramblings. Occasionally, I may even slip in some bits of my own music.

Submissions and Contact Info:

If you’re an artist/in a band or are a small label with some music you think the world should hear, contact me! Seriously, send me some tunes! Submissions are always welcome in all physical formats (please note that until further notice, digital downloads cannot be accepted due to tech issues). All genres are fair game.  Please note that if you already have my mailing address, it has changed as of May 2012.

Contact: lonelyfox_music@yahoo.com

Twitter: @Hound_of_Music

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Electronic Reviews for July 2014

Dorosoto – Maxtoon Physics – Illuminated Paths

Departing from his earlier drone/ambient styled pieces, the Dorosoto project has taken on new life as a dark, enchanting beat-rich world of intelligent and atmospheric acid.  Following up on the heels of the single that was released a few months back, this cassette album brings us into strange territory while being mind-blowingly engaging and thought provoking.  Fans of FSOL’s darker side of “Dead Cities,” Red Falcon Projects, Trills, releases from Body Control Records and Dorosoto’s previous work will find this a very worth while buy and they’ll be thirsty for more.  Killer.  (5 out of 5)

Second Thought – Purlieu Redux – Second Thought Records / Bullfinch

A limited edition repress of the 2004 album featuring alternate takes, demos and a plethora of rare stuff on a CDr and set of tapes, complete with a booklet of art and a short story (also available as a 29 track download).  As to be expected with material by Ross Baker, you get a nice helping of experimentalism, ambient tunes, some neat drones, some modern classical gems and a large variety of other surprises mixed in.  This reissue does not disappoint.  Damn, is this thing ever awesome and rich!  The original material still impresses and the new material captures the creative process and the thought that went into creating this.  The unreleased tracks give a glimpse into a new direction this album might have taken and gives it a new light.  There’s a good deal of sonic variety here and fans of Baker’s previous material under any of his projects or collaborations will not be disappointed.  Score a copy while you can or at the very least, grab the digital version.  Astounding! (5 out of 5)

Letters Of Utrecht – Slow Exit – Offshoot

An EP of interesting sounds composed via laptop, guitar, bass and manipulated found sounds.  The result is an interesting little EP, sitting somewhere between experimental and ambient but remaining extremely unique.  It eases between periods of deep electronic scapes, ambience and noisy patches with bits of harmonies scattered throughout the work as a whole.  This EP creates an interesting feel, which I can get behind.   I guess that is what one can expect when the man behind this release is more known for his work with various rock bands; sometimes the best electronic music comes from solo/side projects from rock musicians.  It’s hard to pin down comparisons so you’ll just have to grab a copy for yourself! (4.7 out of 5)

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Vinyl Rock Reviews For July 2014

Jon Autry – Beautifully Broken – Usonian

Here’s another nice surprise that was waiting in my mailbox.  Pressed on transparent blue vinyl, this LP is chuck full of prime indie-pop-folk goodness.  The songwriting and instrumentation are quite a nice pair, with the lyrics lending themselves well to the mixture of acoustic and electric guitar and a variety of percussion and atmospheres.  I feel like it’s a mix of Iron and Wine, Bonnie Prince Billy, and Beck’s folk side with elements of Wolftron.  This is a great LP; it’s engaging, well-crafted and it shows off Autry’s talents wonderfully.  (4.8 out of 5)

Wei Zhongle – Raised High / Brought Low – Edible Onion

It’s recordings like this one that make me realize I need a better stereo.  My little speaker just doesn’t cut it.  This LP wins the “most unique” award for today’s listening session, and I seriously mean that in a good way.  The fusion here between Asian and Balkan instrumentation and scale styles was quite an eye opener.  I’ve yet to have anything come in for submission sounding anything like this before.  It’s like Japanese scales meets Balkan rhythm and strum patterns meets experimental jazz meets raga vocals.  And speaking of vocals, the singer’s voice takes on the appearance of a string instrument, perhaps a sitar or some other rapid tone-shifting instrument. It’s uncanny.  This is a very engaging record and I give it massive points for putting sounds together I never dreamed of hearing on one record. Artfully done! (4.7 out of 5)

Eureka California – Crunch – Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records

The jangle pop punk indie gods return with their first LP since 2012’s “Big Cats Can Swim.” And after  having the privilege of reviewing that album when it came out, getting my paws on this LP after nearly two years of silence was awesome.  Here, the band ventures into a peppier sound that throws me headlong into a state of bliss.  Lyrically, like their last album, this is genius but a bit more on the playful side of things as far as writing goes.  There’s not a single dull moment on this LP.  I found myself loving each track, easily falling into the crazy and vibrant vibes.  Rock on!  (5 out of 5).

Bastards of Fate – Vampires Are Real And Palpable – This Will Be Our Summer Records

Here is a solid and packed LP full of pure, gritty experimental rock fused with so much life that calling it “experimental rock” really doesn’t define it. Maybe I could get away with calling it indie-experimental… At any rate, the lyrics are put together well and create the glue that the foundation of this record is built on.  Add the strange, fun and sometimes noisy sound clips that bridge gaps between tracks and you have yourself one giant cohesive wall of sound.  Overall, this is a unique record, with an overhanging darkness that’s surprisingly upbeat, giving me this image of a vampire lounging with a lemon lollypop in his mouth.  The imagination and creativity here is equal to that wild sonic exploration of perhaps Yasushi Ishii but the Bastards Of Fate have a sound that is unmistakably original.Seriously, this is quite the LP.  (4.8 out of 5)

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New Rock for Late June 2014

The Pale Faces – Guru / Nature Calls 7”+DVD – Punk Fox

Since Punk Fox does not have or want a webpage or Facebook, getting vinyl in the mail from them to review is always a welcomed and awesome surprise.  In this lovely package came a shiny blue 7” from the Pale Faces.  Two sides of wild psychedelic perfection. It’s noisy, freaky and crazy.  I Love it.  It’s one of the most unique sounding psyche release I’ve had the pleasure of spinning.  And if the two tracks on this single, there’s a DVD that comes along with it. It’s packed with wild videos features a plethora of new trcks set to incredible off the wall videos which you kind of just have to see… they’re a mix of fantasy, energetic live footage of shows and all sorts of other crazy visual goodness.  It really makes me want to check out more from the band (4.9 out of 5) – Thank you Punk Fox!

Various Artists – One Dollar Holler – KERCHOW! Records

Twenty seven tracks jam packed into one sweet tape (for just a buck!).  There’s a ton of variety here with genres ranging from indie rock to folk, lo fi indie pop, noise, experimental, punk, electro punk and a mix of other intense stuff.  It features bands/artists that I’ve not heard anywhere else before (except for one or two of them) and it’s an awesome way to check out a massive amount of talent.  Featured on this cassette are Use the Boost!, Stars Are Insane, DJ Fuzzy Viking, Guitar Wizards of the Future and a literal ton of others. Seriously, this cassette is well worth your time and cash. Talk about a bang for your buck!  (5 out of 5)

Close Lobsters – Kunstwerk in Spacetime EP – Shelflife

A new single by long-time rockers, Close Lobsters!  “Kunstwerk” is the German word for “work of art,” and I’d say that’s exactly what the band has to offer here.  A brilliant blend of indie pop, indie rock and jangle meet up with flawless songwriting and engaging instrumentation.  I tried to draw some comparisons to other groups to nail down their sound and it wound up being more of a case where this band is rather unique; there are hints of influences for sure but they definitely wave their own flag.  This is a great single and it’s great to see the band is still jamming after all of these years! (4.9 out of 5)

The Luxemburg Signal — Distant Drive – Shelflife

As the needle drops, I’m hit with sweet indie pop that reminds me right away of Splendora, Breeders and Beth Orton and a pinch of Veruca Salt.  Two very strong and entrancingly accessible tracks mark this strong debut 7 inch.  And go ahead and call me crazy but I swear I hear a hint of REM on the b-side, which of course makes me LOVE this all the more!  Flawless debut! Ultra eager to hear more! (5 out of 5)

 

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Vinyl Records Pressed on X-Rays – My Reaction & Some Investigating

skull spinning

Maybe it was the fact that I’ve had several MRIs and CTs that made this recent story about vinyl records pressed on x-rays stick out to me.  Maybe it was also because I sat in on my girlfriend’s first MRI the other day (I swear that the machine is ten times louder when you’re on the outside).  Or maybe it’s just my own strange imagination that sprang to life when I saw the pictures of the x-ray vinyl records.  Anyway, here are my thoughts, musings and some other things I found.

The imagines in question I came across were from a story that came to me from my brother over Facebook and I noticed some of my musician friends shared the article as well.  It was about Soviet-era bootlegs of banned music from the west that was passed around on old discarded x-rays.  I guess if you’re stuck in a country in which the government strictly controls what you see and hear and you’re in a place where vinyl records are scarce, one would find ways to get around that.  According to the article linked above, the recordings were mostly jazz and rock from the 50s from the west.   It sounds like the records were lathe cuts (looking at the pictures, they’d almost have to be), then cut to size and shape.  They’d burn a hole at the center to fit it on the turntable.

There’s something oddly fitting to me about an oppressive government banning music and it turning up on x-rays. Maybe it’s the notion that folks were risking their lives to get their hands on the stuff.  I don’t know… it feels so morbid but if I were in that situation, my desire for freedom of expression would seek out alternatives to get the music I want to hear.  X-rays, being pressed on plates and sheets, would make the perfect material to use, if I were up to hopping in bins of medical waste to get them.

Which brings us to today.  I was curious about whether or not this has been done elsewhere or as just some other way western musicians/labels expressed their love for the vinyl format or to stand out. Sure enough, Jack White launched a project that did just that via his label, Third Man Records, over a year ago

Jack White is a creative genius so I’m not surprised by this.  His studio is all-analog, his label’s records always sound stunning and he’s always pushing the envelope with what can be done in the vinyl format.  It’s called “Flex Ray Disc” and I guess the name fits.  And which artist got their tracks etched onto these medical snapshots? Why, none other than Butthole Surfers frontman Gibby Haynes. The release came out on Valentine’s Day in 2013.  100 copies were pressed and not surprisingly, they are selling at over $300 a piece now through collectors.

And Jack White isn’t the only one to do this…. not surprisingly.  The PIAPTK label released a lathe cut x-ray disc as well, as have other small labels.  Prices and genres vary, and it’s worth checking out if you’re curious.  I know I am…  if I had the cash.

So I guess the bottom line is we can thank those brave rebellious folks in the Soviet-era for giving us this idea for furthering our creative expression.  And while x-ray discs create a very unique piece, it’s kind of haunting seeing a real bone spinning on the turntable.

 

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Electronic Reviews For Early June 2014

Shemawound – Come On, Ghost – self released

Shemawound return with “Come On, Ghost,” Even with the first two tracks, you’re given more variety than you know what to do with. We open with a well crafted ambient piece that brings a lot of modern classical samples to a light, almost IDM beat-scape.  The second track is glitch, broken and distorted, bringing a very mechanical and almost industrial feel to the surface.  By this point, I’m hooked.  Things are bit on the noisy side on and off through the rest of the album but they give way to astonishingly constructed ambient scapes complete with unique beats and moods.  This album is quite impressive.  Hats off to you, Shemawound.  You’ve done it again! (4.9 out of 5).

Cybertone – Analog Symmetry – Body Control

Electro infused dark techno goodness!  Tid bits of acid and other sweet modular/synth constructions create retrofuturistic dance anthems, fitting somewhere between “Man Machine” era Kraftwerk and early 2000s Aphex Twin.  This is some wicked sounds.  It seemed once Body Control released the Global Systems compilation, they had it in mind exactly what sort of sound they were after and with each release since, that sound gets refined, matured and expanded upon, creating something new while holding firm roots in classic electronic elements.  This is a damn good single.  (5 out of 5)

Resting Cell — Cellular Damage – Body Control

Resting Cell picks up right where the previous release via Body Control left off, fusing classic electro with bits of techno, acid and odd uncharted rhythms and sounds.  IDM meets a dancehall of darkness, and all I want to do is crank it up louder.  I really am enjoying this.  It’s creative, progressive and intensely engaging, making for not only a good dance EP but also something killer to blast around the house or to use as a soundtrack to a fast paced dark surreal film.  Love it.  Oh, Body Control, what artist/release are you going to wow us with next? (4.9 out of 5).

Various Artists – Terminal Window 3 – Terminal / Terminal Window

From the brilliant minds lurking within the FSOL Forum comes the third installment of the Terminal Window series, something I have been looking forward to for a VVERY long time.  Here, we have choice cuts from Five Minutes Alone, Noisesurfer, Akkya, Ross Baker, Off Land, NMESH, cubu, and Loose Link, all of which bring their own unique brand of ambient, drone, soundscape and various other forms of  musical mayhem  to the spotlight,  This is a slightly shorter release this time around but it packs a lot of thought provoking sounds nonetheless and I would even argue that in some respects, surpasses some of FSOL’s own material by launching us headlong into wild and incredible new worlds.  This is definitely music to put in your surround system or headphones and get lost in.  Thanks, guys! Can’t wait for the 4th release! (5 out of 5).

EUS / Mytrip – Split – BLWBCK

Costa Rican ambient composer EUS gets a prime and brilliantly orchestrated piece on this shiny split cassette.  This is my first introduction to EUS and even after just a few minutes of listening, I’m very impressed by the mixture of organic sounds and effortlessly composed acoustics (strings, light percussion, wind instruments) that gently constructed the atmosphere while rendered sounds and light electronic effects pull it all together.  This release reminds me of a darker Namlook/Ramin release, or perhaps if FSOL ventured a little further into mixing dark ambient and neoclassical.  Stunning.  Mytrip does not disappoint either and presents a very different sound mixture on the flip side of this cassette.  Guitar drones create the rich and dark atmosphere eventually giving way to a very ambient drone, and dare I say almost soothing in parts!  This cassette really is an amazing showcase for both artists and I would urge your get a digital copy of one of the 66 cassette copies! GO NOW! (4.9 out of 5).

 

 

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Rock Reviews for Early June 2014

Restaurnaut – FAHF2 – Kerchow Records

Recorded on tape for tape, these lo-fi folk gods create unique poetic yet to-the-point lyrics that are not only catchy, but engaging.  These are wonderfully original sounding tunes that are currently stuck in my head.  It’s noisy due to its wonderfully lo-fi nature, but that is very much a part of its charm.  This is very accessible and it’s a great introduction to the band. I hear there is a second cassette out and if that’s true, I WANT IT! (4.9 out of 5)

Lost Harbors – Into the Failing Light – Liminal Noise

A wild and somewhat darker than dark mixture of ambient, dark ambient, drone, folk, noise folk and acoustic music bring this six-track album to life.  This is a brilliant new sounds here, and while I have heard a few releases from other groups kind of dabble in this “genre,” maybe just one other have actually mixed these elements together into a coherent whole.  It’s an album that brings the death of winter to one’s soul to the surface and the lyrics reflect that quite a bit. And while there are a few tracks that feel lighter and rely more on acoustic guitar than electronic or guitar ambience/drone, this piece does not break stride.  Start to finish, it’s a ride that makes me shiver.  (4.8 out of 5)

Layne Garret – Guitar Tape Winter 2014 – Question the Truth Noise

Experiments in noise and sound with guitar and tape.  This is some pretty interesting stuff; the guitar isn’t plucked so much as poked, scraped and manipulated in some intriguing new ways.  I remember doing a recording session like this just once with a guitar my brother smashed at one of his shows, though the CD I burned it to is missing…  so, playing this cassette really reminds of that hot summer day we plugged that smashed guitar in and hammered its mangled strings.  The sound here is not harsh; in fact, it really draws me in.  I’d call this tape a success.  (4.7 out of 5) – I also love the fact it’s recorded over some old Christmas tape and even the original cover art is repurposed and repainted.

 

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Electronic Releases Late Spring 2014

Antidröm – AntidrömThe Association for Depth Sound Recordings

Lush, deep ambient mixing with darker tones, drones and a myriad of strange sounds, vocal samples and percussive rhythms make this album something the ambient fan should not miss.  Fans of Mystified, Carbon Based Lifeforms, FSOL, Herd, Biosphere and Second Thought will love this album.  It’s engaging, thought provoking and progressive.  A true journey if there was ever one to be had in a cosmic sense.  Thank you, Antidrom! I needed this! (4.8 out of 5)

Aka Hige – Opening—(self-released)

An interesting album to say the least. The music here has its roots in techno but it uses that influence to create electro infused ambient/leftfield.  Glitched beats, rich synth, low frequency acidic bloops, and a wide variety of atmospheres create a very rich and solid LP.  There’s a lot of talent in these tracks and I am eager to see what’s cooking for the next release.  It’s hard to draw comparisons to how this music sounds like, so I urge you to check it out for yourself.  Awesome stuff.  (4.8 out of 5)

Somnaphon – An Alignment of Various Things – Bicephalic

Packaged in a sweet looking DVD case, this compilation features a selection of tracks that were released on rare or obscure compilations along with some newer, unreleased material.  I was rather surprised by the sounds this CD was emitting when I first hit play.  Wildly glitched-out synth, distortion and rendered sounds create rhythms and movements that bring this release to life.  It’s like a sound collage brought to form solely by snyth and noises.  This is some intense and lively stuff! Again, this is a release that’s hard to draw comparisons to… I guess if I were pressed, I’d say this would be the more experimental side of Aphex Twin mixed with Xotox, and perhaps a touch of Wolf Eye.  Powerful tuff! (4.8 out of 5)

 

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PSYCHONAVIGATION / OFFSHOOT / TRANQILLO – Spring 2014

Navigate your way to their homepage.

Oliver Lieb – Inside Voices

Ambien guru Oliver Lieb returns with a new full length and I’m definitely not the only person who is excited for it, so I won’t look silly marking my calendar for July 21st.  The full album will feature eight breathtaking tracks (sadly, we in the media only got to sample two of these, but what we did get is just AWESOME!) and will be a limited edition on CD.  Lieb does not stray too far from previous efforts, creating another dark yet brilliant world, using elements from classical ambient forms from the 90s while taking us into the future into the most uncharted and unexplored realms.  This is nothing short of fantastic.  Fans of his previous works will love this, as will fans of FSOL, Biosphere and Pete Namlook. (4.8 out of 5)

Shammon Delly – Midnight Sessions EP

The title track is taken from the band’s LP but we get a remix via Skam Record’s own Anodyne.  The opening track is the LP version and it stays true to a unique mixture of IDM/electronica, hinting at a prime pile of Aphex Twin’s ambient side with hints of Redeye, Autechre, and B12.  The remix play a little more into the electro side of IDM.  It still has its gentle side but it leans a lot more on synth and engaging loops. We get one B-side here and it’s quite reminiscent of 90s IDM and downtempo.  This is a great EP; well worth a buy. I think this would sound great on vinyl…. (4.7 out of 5)

Steve Stoll – Praxis

One seamless track that is the whole of sixteen combined parts.  Stoll returns to the world of ambient music once again, creating something deep and moving.  Now, given Stoll’s vast catalog and his reputation, you know you’re in for something amazing here.  It’s a cosmic journey, touching on elements of space ambient, dark ambient, and a variety of other bits.  Fans of his earlier releases will not be disappointed, especially those familiar with his FAX work.  If you’re new to the Stoll experience, this is a great way to get introduced.  This is definitely a new ambient classic. Do not let this one slip under your radar. (5 out of 5)

Johnny Yesterday – Alice, Don’t Let Me Disappear EP

An interesting blend of IDM, ambient, retro styled electronica and futuristic infused purple/electro/techno/who-knows-what bring this EP to life. The sounds here are varied and cover a lot of ground and that in itself is impressive considering this EP never sounds like it wanders or isn’t sure what it wants to be.  There is a clear plan here and every sound works.  It is like someone took Aphex Twin, Mu-ziq, Autechre, Art of Noise, and Boards of Canada in a blender and added a strong shot of booze.  I particularly like the fourth track.  Whatever the vocal samples are from, they work a little too well.  Creepy but amusing.  Eight tracks in total make up this EP, which is a cool deal considering that typically would make an LP.  This is a great debut!  (4.7 out of 5)

Lorenzo Montaná – Leema Hactus

Hitting hard on the IDM side of things, this album reminds me of Plaid, and certain Autechre tracks.  The tracks hear bring a lot of variety without losing focus. It’s easy to see why this has achieved so much praise.  Like some of the other recent releases Psychonavigation has pressed, this brings the best of the classic elements of ambient, IDM and techno to the ‘future.’  It’s not quite retrofuturistic but it certainly is groovy.  What’s not to like here?  (4.8 out of 5)

Galati – Mother

A soundtrack to a deeply personal journey, “Mother” brings a mixture of glacial and dark ambient to the spotlight.  Six longform tracks deliver us from the first steps of this journey, as we leave things behind and gain insight and knowledge as we progress.  I’ll admit that I’m not terribly familiar with “glacial ambient” as a genre but I’ve noticed it surfacing here and there on small labels.  I’ve yet to hear it personally until now, of course.  And I have to say that it is quite interesting, and it seems to be a blend of minimalism, drones, space ambient and snippets of a few other ambient oriented genres.  The sound here is powerful, even at its softest moments.  It’s a sonic and mental journey, it’s lonely and yet not alone, it’s dark yet light…. It’s really amazing.  Deep.  There’s ambient instrumentations the hide within the drones, sometimes coming out to shine before weaving back through the waves just below the surface.  There is so much depth here that calling this glacial or drone just doesn’t seem right.  Trust me, it’s good.  (5 out of 5)

Arche – Final Cause

Described as improvised drone and ambient “jams”, this release opens with a soft, somewhat string sounding synth piece.  It sounds a lot more isolated and somewhat more minimal than Galati’s album, however, this does not mean it lacks in depth, emotion or direction.  Some of these tracks are downright haunting.  This is a brilliant album from start to finish, and I’m feeling really spoiled for getting two superb drone styled pieces in a row like this.  Fans of Galati’s album reviewed above, Mystified, Celer, Cinchel and Mytrip will like this.  (4.9 out of 5)

Scale – Tales – via Offshoot Records

From Psychonavigation’s sublabel comes this genre bending piece from Russia.  Right off the bat I’m getting bits of footwork, experimental drum’nbass styled beat processing without the grit, broken beats, the soul of dubstep without the headache, and hints of hardcore and acid.  This is a pretty wild mix to have together in one glass.  This release, I feel, is on the cutting edge of something new that is only just now being touched on.  Planet µ seems to be moving in this direction and I am glad to see that this is starting to take root in other labels as well.  Whatever this genre is going to be called, it certainly is engaging, deep, entertaining and intelligent…. It’s like IDM evolved into some sort of dance guru of higher intelligence, grabbing a few of its fellow electronic genres along for the ride.  Solid… just solid…  (4.8 out of 5)

Federico Masconi – Acquatinta – via Tranquillo Records

Tranquillo is Psychonavigation’s newest division located in Italy, and its debut release is by this guy, Federico Masconi.  We’re back in ambient soundscapes once again, but here we’re getting some organic instrumentation thrown into the mix and fed through the machines.  Acoustic guitars get mixed together with a variety of strange sounds and atmospheres, creating something down to earth but still miles away on a dream.  The result is amazing and mellow, playful and twangy, simple yet complex, challenging and relaxing, and of course, awesome.   This is a good, strong debut release for the new division and I am eager to see what will come next.  Welcome, Tranquillo! (4.7 out of 5)

 

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Spring’s Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records Showcase

HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME RECORDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Tunabunny – Kingdom Technology

Tunabunny never disappoint.  This LP is a bit noiser than their previous album, complete with a full employment if distortion in spots and strange, almost hypnotic vocal harmonics in some tracks.  This release is bold and is not afraid to pack catchy punk-indie rock gems in tightly with shorter vocal and electronic-ish oriented pieces.  That said, this album features a slightly experimental edge to their otherwise pop rock / indie punk sound. It makes me wonder if we’re seeing the band evolve or if the genre they’ve created is evolving into something else.  That in itself is exciting.  Whether or not they’re intentionally moving in a new direction remains to be seen but for me, this album certainly is solid. (4.8 out of 5).

MUUY BIIEN – This is What Your Mind Imagines

Wild indie punk with astonishingly brilliant guitar work bring this album to a roaring life.  Slamming lyrics, blasting guitars, and roaring percussion create something wild and incredible to the surface.  This is a band who is not afraid to create a sound that is unlike any other, complete with random instrumentals that border on experimentalism.  It’s like the best of 70s punk meets the future.  What more could you ask for? (4.8)

MUUY BIIEN – DYI

Pressed on white vinyl, this LP features quite an interesting mixture of sounds, ranging from punk, garage, power pop, indie rock, instrumental indie and even some light hints of metal and hard rock.  It is hard to compare MUUY BIIEN’s previous albums to their current releases as each one has something freshly unique to offer and each one is incredibly awesome as it stands as a whole.  I like how both this album and their previous album have instrumental tracks spread about throughout both releases.  They never feel like fillers and in their own way, bring things together, giving the album a sense of wholeness.  (4.9 out of 5)

-I kind of want to see them do an album of wild instrumentals now…..

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New Rock for Early April 2014 Part One

Casper and the Cookies – Dingbats – Wild Kindnes / Stuff Records

Pop rock, jangle power pop and indie goodness! This marks the start of the fifth killer album by Casper and the Cookies. Catchy, energetic and addictive tracks make up both sides of this sweet LP – yes, thus far it’s vinyl only!—and there is not a dull moment on the record. “Jenifer’s House” I think is my favorite track. Need a comparison for the sound? Can’t help you there! It’s fairly unique but hints ever so slightly at 70s/80s garage pop mixed with hints of new wave, power pop and of course a heaping helping of jangle. This stuff is awesome! (4.9 out of 5)

Ewa Gigon – For Natalia/Early Winter 7” – Arkhangelsk Recordings

Hauntingly beautiful instrumentalism kicks things off on the A-side. Strings, guitar, and background voices make this track ultra engaging while bringing on a sense of longing. The B-side showcases the lyrical and vocal talents of Gigon, which, I might add, are quite impressive and hauntingly beautiful. Simply amazing! (4.9 out of 5)

 

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