The nine-person Brooklyn disco band Midnight Magic have released a suite of materials in the past week, in celebration of their new EP, What The Eyes Can’t See, out today on Midnight Sun Sound! Included in this post are their new video for “Drop Me A Line,” a Holy Ghost! remix of the same track, and a catchy B-side single called “Psycho For Your Love.” RAWR.
What The Eyes Can’t See EP Tracklist
1. What The Eyes Can’t See
4. Calling Out
5. Psycho For Your Love (Bonus)
6. Magic Midnight (Bonus)
Listen to Holy Ghost!’s remix for Midnight Magic’s “Drop Me A Line” – DOWNLOAD MP3
Listen to Midnight Magic’s “Psycho For Your Love” – DOWNLOAD MP3
Scottish electronica act Errors have shown steady growth through the years. The band’s debut, It’s Not Something But It Is Like Whatever, was a calculated assault of electronics and synth, and their second album, Come Down With Me, brought in a bit more melody while retaining those previous elements. Now on their third full-length release, Have Some Faith In Magic, Errors are utilizing their songwriting skills in a more restrained way, to great effect.
The album opens with “Tusk”, a song equally driven by both synthesizers and guitars. At heart, the Scottish band still retains elements of their more recognizable United Kingdom brothers in post-rock, 65daysofstatic and Mogwai. But whereas both those bands tend to go for more crescendos, crashing guitar riffs, and heavy electronic thuds, Errors paves their way with gentle melodies.
REVIEW CONTINUED BELOW
Have Some Faith in Magic is also the death of the vocal-less phase of Errors. Most instrumental bands can only last so long before dabbling with them, and Errors use vocals like other spacey electronica acts do; the vocals are merely just another layer of melody, just another instrument. “Magna Encarta” and “Cloud Chamber” echo throughout with electronic-swamped vocals, adding extra scope to the songs – but the band never uses vocals as the main driving point.
One of Errors strengths has been their fine balance between melody and hard-driving electronic beats. As much as the band relies upon slight and small build-ups in songs, the fantastic “Pleasure Palaces” shows the band knows how to execute the tried-and-true post-rock grandstanding of high audio peaks and deep sonic valleys. The song maintains a thorough dance club feel throughout without completely devolving into nothing more than a drum and bass beat. Subtlety has now become Errors strongest suit, which is fitting of a band that has been slowly but surely fine-tuning its brand of music over the years.
Sifting through mountains of remix trash so you don’t have to, in an attempt to find the ones that contribute to their originals. Today’s post travels into Nordic territory, with an assortment of electronic jams bearing the handiwork of producer extraordinaire, Lindstrøm.
Pulsating lights and synths reflect a matrix universe wherein projections and lasers transform an entire room into a giant radiant disco ball. Constructed by Joakim Faxvaag, these visuals certainly don’t suspend disbelief — you can clearly see the strings — but the music, a driving ten-minute build into a space-age frenzy, insists that seeing the strings does not diminish the quality. Rather, it adds transparency, encouraging curiosity about the artistic process and overall production.
120 Days are a 4-piece from Oslo who released an acclaimed self-titled record in 2006. “Dahle Disco” is co-produced with Lindstrøm, and comes from 120 Days’ upcoming album, II, out now. Hear the vastly different track, “Osaka,” below, along with a remix by diskJokke.
120 Days – “Osaka” (diskJokke Remix)
120 Days – “Osaka” (Original)
The following track, “De Javu,” is from the album Six Cups Of Rebel, released February 7th via Smalltown Supersound. A short string of tour dates can be seen below, along with throwbacks to collaborations last year with Brooklynites Bear In Heaven. Expect more remixes from Lindstrom soon, for Owen Pallet, Oneohtrix Point Never, and Rub N Thug.
Lindstrøm – “De Javu” (Mark McGuire Remix)
Lindstrøm – “De Javu” (Original)
LINDSTROM’S NORTH AMERICAN TOUR DATES
Fri. March 16 – San Francisco, CA @ Mezzanine
Sun. March 18 – Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey Theatre
Thu. May 24 – Denver, CO @ Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom
Fri. May 25 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall
Sat. May 26 – Toronto, ON @ Wrong Bar
Sun. May 27 – Detroit, MI @ Hart Plaza [Movement Electronic Music Festival]
At first blush, Grimes’ latest full-length, Visions, may seem like a trendy dance-pop album. Go a bit deeper, and you’ll see it’s not that easy to describe. The Grimes wave was a bit slow to wash over me at first, but once it did, it engulfed completely, making me incapable of choosing anything else to listen to. Grimes is one of those artists that became an indie internet sensation before anyone (in the US) knew who she actually was, even though she had been quietly putting out records on Montreal-based label Arbutus for the past few years. The project of Claire Boucher, Grimes has developed from lo-fi home recording natural to a studio-production pro. Her layering of harmonies on top of harmonies on top of electronic-sounding keyboards might seem cold to some, but the vibe the music actually creates is warm and inviting.
How is this achieved? Let’s start with the intro: “Infinite ♡ Without Fulfillment” is a telling and perfectly designed entrée into the Visions world, both in music and lyrical content. A juxtaposition of both indie rock and dance music, it sets the tone of the record and leads perfectly into the beautiful “Genesis” and the mystical “Oblivion,” a yearning dance song at its core. The rest of the album wobbles a bit but remains steady in its fun energy content. “Nightmusic,” which features frequent Grimes collaborator Majical Clouds, has a steady up and down beat that surrounds Boucher’s voice with a beautiful stage. The bass is often thumping in the background of Visions, like a racing heartbeat, true to the overarching romantic theme of the record.
REVIEW CONTINUED BELOW
To me, it is the mellow tracks, such as the haunting “Visiting Statue,” that are most fascinating and stick with me the longest. They aren’t over-layered or too complex, and they take awhile to grow on the ear, but once they do, the whole album shifts magically into place. On these tracks, Boucher’s voice is powerful and accented regardless of all the bells and whistles, as evident on her earlier records. Other times, he synthy embellishments are good for the dance floor (“Be a Body” especially) but feel overdone. “Circumambient,” a clear club-banger, seems rather one-dimensional, focused around its dance music capabilities alone. Some of the songs (“Vowels = Space and Time”) become a bit lost in their own self-conscious disco-hipness. Grimes’ earlier music felt much more grounded in reality, even if they were a little obscure. Boucher’s voice, which has been tampered with on Visions, seemed more stripped down in previous efforts. Yet the mellow flourish on “Skin,” the closing track of the album, wraps a nice bow around the album. A dreamy haze of a song, “Skin” leads into the outro, and it is much less dance-pop than the rest of the record, calling back to Geidi Primes in its trance-like and moody nature.
The worry that exists with a musician like Grimes, who is trending with the current pulse of indie music, is that she will get too caught up and not move beyond. Her being a prolific artist in touch with many genres – one who fluidly combines them and brings one to the surface while another fades – is the key asset to Grimes’ future. She has proved herself to be a chameleon thus far. Only time will tell if this can persist, evolve, and hold the attention of an often fastidious music community from which Grimes grew.
London-based indie rockers Post War Years have teamed up with amazing Philly director Tobias Stretch to create this muppet-filled blue-tinged world of weirdness. Stretch, known for his stop-motion animations and work with puppet characters, took the time to answer a few questions, which you can read below the video.
How was the concept for this developed? You and the band jointly? Mostly you? Mostly the band?
The band presented me with an idea of an image, a playground swing descends in slow motion towards the head of an alien creature. From this powerful image I was able to create a world around it that also reflected the meaning of the song which dealt with the trials and tribulations of a young person trying to find their way in the big bad world.
This video feels and reads like a nightmare which then comes to show itself as light-hearted. Is there any truth in that kind of reading?
Yes, nightmares can be quite funny at times despite the fear they usually elicit. Nervous laughter is the surest sign that an object of fear has now passed. To me, the celebration of life is also about being free of fear, even if it is only for moments. People who have endured traumatic events tend to have a blacker sense of humor, so the lines between humor and fear are always blurry for me.
Are there particular components of the music or lyrical content that you think work best with the video?
The most literal match to the lyrics is obvious in the close up on their eyes in reference to the song title, “All Eyes.” However, I think the best creative interpretation of the lyrics is, “Every eye on the finish line,” as illustrated by the pendulum-like playground swing as a symbol of inescapable fate, that she must face, which we eventually see at the end when she gets on the swing with her new friends. The last image is of her staggering from the crashed van disoriented. This will lead us into the next chapter, so it’s to be continued…
Keeping in mind that we are a publication that likes to track influences of bands, is there anything relating to this song or video that might be of interest?
The alien’s name is Gorky (Arshile Gorky was an artist who dealt with a lot of fear) he represents the fear in all of us, that we must embrace in order to overcome it and grow, because in the end most fears are just silly, love is the answer.
Occult symbols aren’t taken too seriously in this video for Nite Jewel’s “One Second Of Love”, which combines dance (complete with floor moves) with a pop-and-locking, gyrating calavera-headed creature. At the breakdown, all glamour turns nasty, as in: a scantily-clad character straight out of a bounce video and black squid ink vomit. A well-orchestrated video that adds low-brow humor to generally inaccessible modern dance routines.
Nite Jewel’s upcoming record, One Second Of Love, will be released March 6th, 2012 on Secretly Canadian. Full tracklisting below, along with upcoming tour dates with Chairlift.
ONE SECOND OF LOVE TRACKLISTING
1) This Story
2) One Second of Love
3) She’s Always Watching You
4) Mind & Eyes
5) In The Dark
6) Memory, Man
7) Unearthly Delights
8) No I Don’t
NITE JEWEL TOUR DATES (w/ Chairlift, unless indicated)
Mar 14-17 SXSW – Austin, TX
Mar 26 Brighton Music Hall – Boston, MA
Mar 27 Il Motore – Montreal, QC
Mar 28 Legendary Horseshoe Tavern – Toronto, ON
Mar 29 Magic Stick – Detroit, MI
Mar 30 Empty Bottle – Chicago, IL
Mar 31 Triple Rock Social Club – Minneapolis, MN
Apr 03 Larimer Lounge – Denver, CO
Apr 04 Urban Lounge – Salt Lake City, UT
Apr 06 Electric Owl – Vancouver, BC
Apr 07 The Crocodile – Seattle, WA
Apr 08 Doug Fir – Portland, OR
Apr 10 The Independent – San Francisco, CA
Apr 11 Troubadour – Los Angeles, CA
Apr 12 The Casbah – San Diego, CA
Apr 14 The Crescent Ballroom – Phoenix, AZ
Apr 16 Club Dada – Dallas, TX
Apr 17 The Mohawk – Austin, TX
Apr 18 One Eyed Jacks – New Orleans, LA
Apr 19 The Earl – Atlanta, GA
Apr 20 Local 506 – Chapel Hill, NC
Apr 21 U Street Music Hall – Washington, DC
Apr 22 Johnny Brendas – Philadelphia, PA
Apr 24 Bowery Ballroom – New York, NY w/ Sophia Knapp and more TBD
Bear In Heaven go hyper warp-speed, a shade mustacheless, and definitely hi-resolution on their new video for “Reflection Of You,” directed by John Lee of the PFFR art collective. Is it obnoxious? Kind of. But if you stick around to the halfway point, you’ll be introduced to an awkward confetti-drenched disco ball of a man oozing around like a drunk, maracas, and glitched out dancers. This really is as brilliant as it is obnoxious — but that’s just their style, really (you’ll know for sure if you watch the video interviews).
AU’s music is insane — in a marching band out of a circus hall-of-mirrors kind of way. Senses of up and down and left and right are obliterated in maximalist fashion; their recent Into The Woods session utilizes quick cuts galore to highlight the Portland band’s trumpet-sax-guitar-drum-keys madness. It matters little that they’re performing in an extremely modest living room, or that there’s people hanging around in the background doing nothing constructive. Such is the epic and frenetic energy of AU: like noise-thrash musicians turned band camp leaders and slowed down only temporarily by brief vocal meditations on meditating.
The band is releasing its third full-length album, Both Lights, on Hometapes on April 3 and in the UK via The Leaf Label on April 2. We at REDEFINE are also excited to announce that AU are playing our upcoming SXSW showcase on Friday, March 16th, at House Of Commons. Their other tour dates can be seen below, where they will be touring the United States and Europe with a host of ridiculously awesome bands.
Directed by Hannah Gregg
Edited by Steve Wyshywaniuk
Audio by Jeff Hylton Simmons
Camera by Steve Wyshywaniuk, Rodrigo Melgarejo, Jaclyn Campanaro
Words by Will Giardino (which can be seen HERE)
AU TOUR DATES * = w/ Deerhoof
¥ = w/ The Dodos
# = w/ The Velvet Teen
¼ = w/ Built To Spill, Typhoon & Y La Bamba
+ = w/ Said The Whale
^ = w/ Tu Fawning, Parenthetical Girls & Grandparents
& = w/ Aan
¢ = w/ Zulu Winter & Choir Of Young Believers
£ = w/ Country Trash
% = w/ Leverage Models
~ = w/ Xiu Xiu
! = w/ Blues Control
@ = w/ The Thermals
$ = w/ Dungen
02/25 Sacramento, CA Bows And Arrows
02/26 San Francisco, CA Noise Pop Festival at Great American Music Hall ¥
03/03 Portland, OR The Doug Fir ^
03/08 Santa Cruz, CA Crepe Place
03/09 Los Angeles, CA The Echo $
03/10 Tucson, AZ Plush +
03/11 Phoenix, AZ Rhythm Room #+
03/13 Santa Fe, NM SOL at Santa Fe Brewing *
03/14 – 03/17 Austin, TX SXSW
03/18 Wichita, KS Rock Island Live
03/19 Lawrence, KS The Replay
03/20 Denver, CO The Hi Dive &
03/21 Boulder, CO The Cherryvale
03/22 Salt Lake City, UT Kilby Court &
03/24 Boise, ID Treefort Music Festival ¼
03/29 Brooklyn, NY Cameo Gallery %
04/04 Zurich, CH Papiersaal
04/05 Faenza, IT Clandestino
04/06 Rome, IT Init
04/07 Terni, IT Palmetta
04/09 Vienna, AT WUK ~
04/10 Munich, DE Kranhalle at Feierwerk ~
04/11 Berlin, DE Festsaal Kreuzberg ~
04/12 Hamburg, DE Kampnagel ~
04/14 Warsaw, PL Cafe Kulturalna
04/15 Wroclaw, PL Puzzle
04/17 Gent, BE Video
04/18 Liege, BE Le Fiacre
04/20 Metz, FR Les Trinitaires
04/22 Rotterdam, NL Worm !
04/27 Paris, FR Keep Portland Weird Festival @
04/28 Bergen, NO Bergen Kjott $
04/29 Oslo, NO Revolver
05/02 Stockholm, SE Fritz’s Corner at Lilla Hotelbaren
05/03 Copenhagen, DK Huset i Magstraede
05/05 Luxembourg, LU EXIT07