It’s been a harsh winter, and though summer is merely peeking it’s wary head out thus far in Chicago, 2015, we feel pretty certain (ie: no scientific proof) that summer WILL happen. RIGHT!?!?!?!? Mega-awesome label (and CTD exclusive), Beyond Beyond Is Beyond have to sweat it out in Brooklyn, NY. They’ve already pummelled humanity with releases from Kikagaku Moyo, Myrrors, Prince Rupert’s Drops, Entrance Band, Worthless, & Montibus Communitas, just to name a few – and they have sensors set to stun the heart-of-your-brain with their recent & upcoming releases! I would not kid you.
Myrrors‘ LP/CD/CAS release Arena Negra began its meteoric build back in March, & between reviews from such luminaires as Backseat Mafia, CVLT Nation, Under The Radar, Relix, Active Listener, Big Takeover & Impose noticing that “…like a quintet of nomadic spirit seekers on a vision quest to confront the other side, Nik Rayne, Grant Beyschau, Cody Schwartz, Connor Gallaher & Miguel Urbina knit together electric processional drone designed masterpieces that serve as one part audio aesthetics, & one part spiritual road map to transcendence,” & Consequence of Sound harping on how “…The Myrrors exist because the work of psych is never done. The question is, how can they compete in a genre overflowing with life? The answer, care of Arena Negra: extreme reverence,” we’ve been inudated with requests. DO. NOT. MISS what very well may be the next “big thing.” Need we say more?
Heaters Mean Green 7″ was released in late April, and the reaction has been nuclear (in the nicest of ways, natch)! – be it reviews in Magnet, Stereogum, Styrofoam Drone, Sly Vinyl, a video premier on Under The Gun and Noisey/Vice, this psychedelic wall of sound will incite a riot in your mind! Even the braintrust at Pitchfork/The Pitch chimed in ~ ”Heaters from Grand Rapids keep the psychedelic fire with their latest pair of nuggets, ‘Mean Green’ b/w ‘Levitate Thigh’ on Beyond Beyond is Beyond Records.” Keep your eyes peeled for a full length in the future. Get ready.
June 30th sees the release of Blood Moon by Ancient Ocean on LP/CD/retail-only-color-vinyl-LP. Press has been steamy at the very least for Ancient Ocean - Noisey/Vice mentioned that “Ancient Ocean is all about synth, lightly textured drones, and the wide-open spaces in between.” NPR premiered the track “Beargrass Creek”, noting that ”…the 14-minute ‘Beargrass Creek’ gently rocks to and fro, seeking rhythmic harmony in synths & strings…With guests Aaron Martin on cello and bowed banjo, Craig Schenker on sax, and Destruction Unit’s JS Aurelius on processed piano, ‘Beargrass Creek’ sounds like a smoothed-out version of one of Richard Skelton’s frenzied-yet-zen ambient-classical landscapes. But where Skelton’s work has a way of fluttering as it draws you in, ‘Beargrass Creek’ crests and falls all around you.” Impose even got “real head-y” about it - ”The movements gradually move about the astral plane as humankind looks deep into the sequences of stars, and the odd — yet natural — formation of planets for all the answers and questions that we do not possess.”
Melbourne, Florida, the new Trouble In Mind LP (both black vinyl & limited-edition-color vinyl)/CD from our friends down under, Dick Diver, received a Pitchfork 7.8 review today -
“Attracting comparisons to Dunedin bands like the Clean—an alleged influence the band are quick to protest—their jangly, working class rock inspired unlikely thinkpieces about new movements in Australian music towards reclaiming Australian-ness. Finally here was a band, the thinking went, that were proudly Australian without the conservative baggage, and could articulate the lives of working class youth—even make it seem romantic—with elegant melodies and deft lyricism, painting vibrant portraits of forlorn suburbs and tacit class warfare.
Dick Diver sound at peace on Melbourne, Florida, both certain of what they are now and certain that they could be almost anything in the future. Last year, Edwards was afraid that Dick Diver risked a dangerous entrenchment with the connotations the band had accrued, but this album breaks open new possibilities for them. Whether that’s welcomed, or they have to pursue new careers in pro-gaming, Melbourne, Florida is an exciting progression to old fans, and a solid entry point for new audiences.”
Ben Chasny’s Six Organs of Admittance received a 7.6 review on Pitchfork for Hexadic, his new Drag City LP/CD, out February 17th. See what the braintrust had to say ~
“There’s a real sense of aesthetic purpose here; though none of Chasny’s work has ever sounded non-commital, his dedication to one guitar approach creates thorough cohesion, gluing all nine tracks together under one communal vibe. That effect was likely enhanced by Chasny’s self-devised songwriting system, one that even inspired him to create his own set of Six Organs playing cards. But this method seems more about creating a frame of mind than hewing to specific rules, as the resulting music sounds ready and willing to go anywhere.
That openness allows Chasny and his colleagues—including his Comets on Fire bandmate Noel Von Harmonson on drums—to play patiently and thoughtfully. Even when they’re smashing into a crescendo, it feels like a natural, well-worn state rather than a rushed attempt to force frenzy. In a way they come off like an athlete who’s so calm under pressure her heartbeat hardly varies whether she’s winning easily or taken down to the wire. So even though Hexadic bears an ominous, sometimes even disorienting tone, there’s a placidity to the proceedings that keeps the music more welcoming than confrontational. It reminds me of how Neil Young’s noisiest songs sway rather than crash, more reflective than assaultive, despite all the sonic debris.”
Photo courtesy of Elisa Ambrogio
Jessica Pratt released On Your Own Love Again on LP/CD yesterday, and Pitchfork rose early, and posted an 8.1 review for her Drag City debut.
“Pratt’s gorgeous Drag City debut quietly rejects tradition. For all its folk touchstones, Pratt is more an aesthete than a poet—she sings of bleeding watercolors, blue geraniums—and accordingly On Your Own Love Again plays like acoustic dream-pop. Its warm, home-recorded atmosphere is more dramatic and distinctive than Jessica Pratt: finger-picked psychedelia, lucidly layered harmonies, hissy tape effects, an overcast haze. But Pratt’s songwriting is more cohesive and concise, her whispered secrets more alluring. The record’s cyclical nature gives On Your Own more momentum, as she sings sticky rock’n'roll hooks learned from Brian Wilson or the Hollies.”
From the Drag City web portal -
“Her album’s called On Your Own Love Again, and people seem to be DEEPLY ready to hear it. That’s good – this is a record that’ll stand up to the anticipation, with a delicately woven set of pop-folk songs written through a deep love and observation of songs and singers and the whole rock thing. Jessica’s taken it in but what comes back out again is put forth so innately, from whatever it is that we perceive as Jessica’s ‘personality,’ that there’s a new sense of the tradition, something expressed in a way that hasn’t already been covered in the generations of blues players and the country guys and all the rest, working from the same template and coming up with their own personal twists on things. Something that is HERS. Beyond the songwriting, Jessica’s also got a tremendous sense of HOW her records are supposed to sound, which is amazing, because not only is this the first one for which she’s actually had her hands on the dials, but also, the balance she’s going for is such a delicate one, comprised of fine lines and haze in a constantly shifting equilibrium. Plus there’s the other thing in the mix that’s not always so easy to get in there, a little thing you might heard of called vibrations? Like the time, the vibes in On Your Own Love Again just feel right. The light from the moon is falling in the right place. The fog starts lifting at the same moment every time we flip the record.”
Full disclosure: I am not as young as you may think. When I was too busy rabble-rousing in the 80s & early 90s, I first became aware of “garage music” – specifically, bands such as The Sonics, The Wailers, The Novas, etc. – from Tim Warren’s Crypt Records Back From The Grave series. Long before your Ty Segalls, your Oh Sees, your Nots, your Oblivians, your Gories….there was Back From The Grave. Truth be told, initially, I skirted BFTG as what our parents listened to at a drunken frat toga-themed party. Wrong or right, Crypt has spent over 30 years compiling what are the(e) landmark garage punk compilations out there in the world. Except no substitute.
Pitchfork doesn’t. They reviewed the newest additions to the series, Back From The Grave Vol. 9 and Back From The Grave Vol. 10 on Pitchfork today. While the CD version compiles the 2 comps, each LP stands on it’s own…and judging from the response at CTD, there’s an OVERWHELMING DEMAND, so act faster than fast to get yours.
Pic courtesty of Universal Pictures. Maybe Otter took it.
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