Phantogram

Watch: Phantogram performs “Calling All” at Moog Sound Lab

Apr 05, 2018

For a few years now, audio pioneer Moog has been inviting musicians into their sound lab to experiment with their instruments in playing original songs. The latest video sees Phantogram making their second appearance and performing "Calling All" from their 2016 album Three. Check it out below:

"The Moog “Sound Lab” is an adult version of a candy store for a musician. The artists get to conduct unbridled experiments with an array of Moog gear. Everything Moog is available. Everything is permitted. Previous artists that have dabbled with Moog gear in the Lab include Tegan & Sara, Chvchers, Washed Out, Moses Sumney, Sylvan Esso, Toro Y Moi, Jack Antonoff, and many more."

From Moog Music: Phantogram return to the Moog Sound Lab to perform “Calling All” from their album Three. Re-imaging the track completely with analog synthesizers, guitarist Josh Carter lays the song’s foundation with a Minimoog Model D while vocalist Sarah Barthel controls the depth and dimension of her voice using an MF-104M Analog Delay. This is Phantogram’s second performance in the Moog Sound Lab, after performing “16 Years” in 2011.


Wolf Parade

Watch: Wolf Parade KEXP Live Set

Apr 04, 2018

Wolf Parade is gearing up for festival season while still on their tour for Cry Cry Cry, one of the better albums of last year. During their Pacific Northwest swing back in January, the Montreal quartet performed a live set at the KEXP gathering space. It was just published and sees Wolf Parade shaking off the morning stiffness to perform "Lazarus Online", "You're Dreaming" and "Baby Blue"–which unfurls into beautiful jamming madness– from the current album and classic track "Soldier's Grin". Enjoy:

Rafiq Bhatia

Watch: Rafiq Bhatia of Son Lux “Breaking English” Live Session

Apr 03, 2018

Son Lux guitarist Rafiq Bhatia has been busy. His band just finished a tour for their latest imaginative album Brighter Wounds, which dropped in February, and now Rafiq's solo instrumental album Breaking English is about to drop this Friday on Anti Records. Ahead of the release, Rafiq has shared lead single "Hoods Up" and today shared the live session video for the title track. Check it out below. 

From the bio/press release:

"Bhatia is the first-generation American son of Muslim immigrant parents who trace their ancestry to India by way of East Africa. Early influences such as Jimi Hendrix, John Coltrane, and Madlib—as well as mentors and collaborators including Vijay Iyer and Billy Hart—prompted him to see music as a way to actively shape and represent his own identity, not limited by anyone else’s prescribed perspective...For most of his listening life, he’d loved records in which familiar sounds were refashioned into wonderfully alien strains, where iconoclastic ideas met cutting-edge technology to yield a new lexicon. Making music like this would mean reaching beyond his six strings and customarily collaborative approach, especially his reliance on outside producers. To get where he needed to go, he would need to learn how to sculpt sound for himself."

"It was during this period of reinvention that Bhatia joined Son Lux, a studio-centered project in which producer Ryan Lott used software to warp found sounds into dazzling electronic experiments. Son Lux afforded Bhatia the chance to record with the likes of Lorde and Sufjan Stevens, but, more important, it gave him the support he needed to develop his voice as a producer—the process that ultimately yielded Breaking English."

Bhatia is also eager to bring the hybridity of his ideas to the live stage; He will be performing tracks from Breaking English with Ian Chang of Son Lux on drums and Jackson Hill on bass. All upcoming US and European tour dates are listed below.

 

 

TOUR DATES

3/15–Seattle, WA–Tractor Tavern*

3/16–Portland, OR–Doug Fir Lounge*

4/9–New York, NY–National Sawdust

4/11–Chicago, IL–Schubas

4/12–Indianapolis, IN–IUPUI Masterclass

4/19–Warsaw, PL–Poglos

4/20–Berlin, DE–Acud Macht Neu

4/21–Hamburg, DE–Hafenklang

4/22–Copenhagen, DK–Ideal Bar

4/26–Antwerp,BE–deSingel / Bouge B Festival

4/27–London, UK–Shacklewell Arms

4/28–Paris, FR–Point Éphémère

4/29–Metz, FR–7(7) Café

5/3–Nyon, CH–LA Parenthèse

5/4–Luzern, CH - Sedel

5/29–Los Angeles, CA–The Moroccan Lounge

5/30–San Francisco, CA–Café Du Nord

*- supporting Red Baraat

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stephen Malkmus

Watch: Stephen Malkmus Unplugged

Apr 02, 2018

Well, this was a nice surprise on a Monday morning. At some point recently, Stephen Malkmus played a mix of solo acoustic songs and haunting electronic beats at an empty St. John's Episcopal Rectory in Brooklyn and it was filmed for Pitchfork Live. Here's the tracklist: 0:56 - Solid Silk - 4:06 Shiggy 8:11 - Middle America 11:56 - Refute 16:11 - Freeze the Saints 19:18 - Trigger Cut. It's lovely and strange. Check it out below:

Amen Dunes

Stream: Amen Dunes New Album “Freedom”

Mar 30, 2018

There's high praise in the air for Amen Dunes' new album Freedom, which was released today on Sacred Bones. Three years in the making and a survivor of being ditched then picked back up and reworked, Freedom is a personal triumph pounding with the pulse of its author Damon McMahonReinforcements came in the form of Parker Kindred  (Antony & The Johnsons,  Jeff Buckley)  on drums, Delicate Steve  on guitars, production by Chris Coady  (Beach House) and additional contributions from Nick Zinner, and session bass player extraordinaire  Gus Seyffert  (Beck, Bedouine). Freedom was put back together and is being raised aloft. Check it out for yourself. Freedom is the fifth album from Amen Dunes and swells with the evolution of McMahon's production and arrangements.

Mastersystem

Listen: Mastersystem “Old Team” Mogwai Remix

Mar 29, 2018

Mastersystem is an exciting new supergroup comprised of two musical siblings–Scott & Grant Hutchinson of Scottish outfit Frightened Rabbit and Justin & James Lockey of Editors and another great supergroup Minor VictoriesMastersystem's new single Old Team was just shared ahead of their debut album release on April 6th, via Physical Education. To add another fraternal element, Mogwai (Stuart Braithwaite is also a member of Minor Victories) remixed the single, which you can hear below. This new project is a good fit for Scott Hutchinson's Scottish yawp. Listen below.

The press release provides the background of this project humorously:

The idea for the band came about on an uncomfortably hot day in Berlin, 2016. Discarding with pomp and ceremony – under the backdrop of warm Coca-Cola and incessant mosquitos - the conversation went something like this:

Justin: “So, Yer think, we should I dunno, maybe do something at some point, sometime… yer know, kinda heavy maybe, but still melodic…but a bit fuzzy/heavy?”
Scott – “Aye.”
Grant – “Aye…”
Justin - “Nice one. I’ll email you’s”

As ground-breaking and poetic in its simplicity, as this conversation was, it tells only half the story. For that we need to rewind, four maybe five years. The story starts back when Frightened Rabbit recruited a couple of straight-up filmmakers and fine fellas from Yorkshire to follow them around on their tour of the Scottish Highlands. The two filmmakers spent time photographing mountains while Frightened Rabbit smashed out the classics to adoring crowds. The filmmakers were Justin and James Lockey and this trip would be the beginning of a long creative relationship between the two sets of brothers.

Due to the respective schedules of band members’, the album finally came together at the end of 2017. Produced by Justin Lockey, Dance Music is a dark, honest, soaring album, exactly what one might expect if Frightened RabbitEditors and Minor Victories combined forces.
    

The album is the story of four bearded men in their thirties, making an album they are immensely proud of, Scott Hutchinson adds, “I thought it would be interesting to play around with the themes of restlessness and dissatisfaction on this album, both as a counterpoint to the exuberance of the music and as an obvious reference to the angst and tension I heard in the grunge and fuzz of my teenage years. This is not the angst of a teenager, however. This is the anxiety of a man in his mid-30s, and for a lot of this record I found myself wrestling with the ways in which I am not quite doing life right, in spite of appearing to lead a relatively joyful, playful and artistic existence.

 

Echo Collective

Watch: Echo Collective “I Might Be Wrong” Cover - Animated Video

Mar 28, 2018

There have been plenty of Radiohead cover albums and somehow, no matter how good they are, you're curious to listen just to hear the execution. Echo Collective out of Belgium is releasing a cover album of Amnesiac this Friday, Echo Collective Plays Amnesiac, on 7K. They have shared a video for their version of "I Might Be Wrong" in advance and judging by its minimal groove, this album should be a nice take on Amnesiac on whole.

Here is some background on their prolific work to date from the press release: 

Over the past few years, orchestral instrumental music from outside the classical establishment has become huge, and Neil Leiter and Margaret Hermant of the Belgian Echo Collective have witnessed the evolution and extraordinary rise of this movement right up close.  They've worked with some of the most important players, including Stars Of The Lid, Dustin O’Halloran and Adam Wiltze’s A Winged Victory For The Sullen and O’Halloran’s solo projects, as well as Jóhann Jóhannsson. And though the Echo Collective members themselves very much do come from within the classical music establishment, they don't care which side of the fence they are seen to be on.
 
As Leiter puts it: “we come at it from the classical side, we bring our understanding to the neo-classical world.”. And it's precisely this sense that their musical training is a set of skills to be put to use in the service of the music – not a signifier of some culturally superior and impenetrable realm – that you can hear running through their own work, starting with their re-interpretation of Radiohead's Amnesiac.
 
The project came about thanks to a concert residency at the Brussels venue Ancienne Belgique. Part of the commission was to reinterpret either Kid A or Amnesiac. They chose the latter because as Leiter says it “had more layers, more complexity, was a little more esoteric, so there was more to chew on and add our sound to,” and arranged it for string trio, harp, piano, bassoon/contrabassoon, clarinet/bass, clarinet/baritone saxophone, and orchestral percussion.

Echo Collective is Margaret Hermant - violin, harp, Neil Leiter - viola, Charlotte Danhier - cello, Yann Lecollaire - clarinet, bass clarinet, baritone sax, Hélène Elst - bassoon, contra-bassoon, Gary De Cart - piano, and Antoine Dandoy - percussion.

 

Air Waves

Listen: Air Waves “Warrior” ft. Kevin Morby

Mar 27, 2018

Brooklyn based musician Nicole Schneit revealed the final single from her third full-length as Air Waves today. "Warriors" features Kevin Morby and follows the politically inspired "Blue Fire" and the buoyant lead-single - "Morro Bay" . All are taken from her third full-length Warrior, due April 6th on Western Vinyl.

Here's some background on Air Waves:

Like many queer women, Nicole Schneit is a warrior by necessity, fighting for basic rights, dignity, and acceptance. Such determination in the face of hardship and injustice runs in Schneit’s family; her new album was inspired in part by her mom who was diagnosed with fallopian cancer last year. As she explains, “The doctor told her she had a fifteen to twenty percent chance, and her response was ‘I’m going to get this mother fucker. So the title ‘Warrior’ and the song are about her. After chemotherapy, surgery, and then more chemotherapy, all the cancer in her body has left and she's currently in remission. I feel like most of the people in my life, including myself, are warriors and have overcome obstacles that seemed impossible to defeat."