New Orleans-based duo Telefon Tel Aviv has signed to BPitch Control and will release its third official full-length, Immolate Yourself, on January 20, 2009. This album–their first in five years–is made almost entirely with analog synths, due to the band's growing disinterest in guitars. The tense opening chord of “Helen of Troy” hangs menacingly above crisp percussion until plunky new-wave synths rush in like a breaking rain shower. Timid vocals from bandmates Charles Cooper and Joshua Eustis waft into the storm and blossom harmoniously, growing warmer still into a glowing, infectious pop chorus. Just as your mind begins to crave another round of retro melodic crooning, the song comes to an end. If this sounds good to you, catch them on tour this fall with Ghostly’s Matthew Dear. Lulu McAllister
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MC and producer Ohmega Watts’ influences, which range from funk and soul to Stereolab and Brazilian psychedelia, come out to play on his new album, Watts Happening. The first single, “Eyes and Ears,” begins with simple rich downbeats that rock heavily in place beneath the agile lyricism of Ohmega and Philadelphia-based MC Jneiro Jarel. As the song progresses, the rhythm begins to wrap dizzily around their well-timed words until you no longer know which is leading, the beat or the vocals. Into this danceable mix Ohmega has woven gunshots, distant scratching, and female back-up vocals that chime in like a quirky echo on key phrases. More on this erstwhile hermit can be found here. Lulu McAllister
Having already announced the release of his third solo full-length, TRONIC, MC and producer Black Milk is now giving us a taste of what's actually on the album. The 25-year old Detroit artist has hinted at the fact that he eschewed his usual sample-heavy sound this time around, opting instead to explore live instrumentation via an army of vintage and modern synths. He's also added some live horns and drumming to this song, and the overall effect is rather something grander than your average hip-hop track.
S.F.-based imprint Machete Vox, who recently released its first compilation, Sneak Preview, is offering up another slice of Bay-centric rap for your heads to nod to. "I Need Money" features Boac on mic duty, voicing concerns over a topic that most Bay Area residents can likely relate to (needing money), backed by some funky boom-bap provided by the ever-prolific Dnae Beats. Dig up your best pair of pants, load this into the iPod, and bump nonstop on your way to your next job interview.
The music of The Sight Below summons foggy dreams and dreary evenings, reminiscent of the Seattle-based artist's stomping grounds of the lush Pacific Northwest. In "With Her Kiss (I'd Pass The Sky)," distant foghorns sail over saturated ambiance and subdued electronic beats, delivering a sound that embraces the fanatical tone of shoegaze and a desolate, yet buoyant minimal techno momentum. The Sight Below will team up with labelmates Tycho, Deru, and Lusine as they take over The Baltic Room in Seattle for the Ghostly International Label Showcase at Decibel Festival on Saturday, September 27. In the live context, Sight Below runs E-bowed, slide, and lightly picked guitars through a series of loopers, 12-bit reverb boxes, and delay units creating sonicly deep, doleful techno quintessential for a wet winter's night. The Sight Below will be appearing live in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Portland in November - dates TBA. His No Place For Us EP is available for free download through Ghostly's website.
Jimmy Edgar is one of those artists you imagine doesn't like to sit still for more than a few minutes at a time. Besides fashioning dark, driving electronic music under his own name, he also heads up house- and funk-influenced project Her Bad Habit, serves as executive producer for X District, and is rumored to be one-half of electro duo Plus Device. Add to that his work as a fashion photographer (and the fact that he looks hotter in eyeliner than most women), and, well, it all makes him the type of guy you'd like to sit down and have a coffee with. His latest project finds the Detroit native once again working with brooding beats and unsettling rhythms that hint at something sinister waiting just around the corner (or in the case of the track's video, something sensual). Fans of this one should also check the flipside, a remix by Hefty Records founder John Hughes. The single will be offered as a donation-only release this month, free to download, with 100% of the proceeds going back to the artist. A digital copy will be available via retailers in November. Photo by Timothy Saccenti & Mal Torrance.
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