Thursday, August 26, 2010


More shimmering, stuttering ambient IDM from London's Hypermagic. Like their first two EPs, Hey Hey Sunshine is still relatively laid back - slow on the beats-per-minute scale and simple in style and substance. With that said, though, Hey Hey Sunshine seemingly radiates much more in terms of motion and musicality. The EP's title track envisages the meter and motion of a few self-sufficient machines operating ad-infinitum. One machine's arm tips up and down, creating a lackadaisical beat. Another dips its dual arms into water and then rises, issuing consecutive drip-drops back into the pond. Yet another passes a ping-pong ball back and forth across a grooved wooden surface. Fascinated as we are by these machines, something warms our shoulders. We turn and look, and say hello to the sun.

On "Red Lion," it's the motion and musicality of a jazz drummer brushing beats while a Philip Glass-inspired percussionist pours and passes us Hpnotiq from his position at the xylophone. Their groove is serious, their melody is somewhere in between a technologically-savvy spy scene in an action flick and the spaced-out synths of The X-Files.

Hypermagic - Hey Hey Sunshine

Hypermagic - Red Lion

Download "The Dogs," the chugging, droning third and final song from the Hey Hey Sunshine EP, here. Hypermagic's first two EPs are graciously available for free download there as well. "Pico Blisco," a blissed-out, stunningly beautiful song from their self-titled EP, streams below. This was the song that swept me off my feet and sealed the deal. I believe the Hype. Hypermagic, of course.

Hypermagic - Pico Blisco

Friday, August 20, 2010

Dream Boat

Dream Boat is Sina Sohrab. Born in Iran, raised in Michigan and currently studying Furniture Design at the Rhode Island School of Design, he makes "glassy dream music." That's one of the most optimistic descriptions of the decade: if his music is glassy, it's glassy-eyed, like a dead person whose soul is skimming the river Styx. This certainly isn't the hazy, warm, dream-inspired sound of chillwave, either. Indeed, Sohrab's musical moniker should probably be something more like Nightmare Ferry.

With "Your Beaches," Sohrab leads the pack in the competition for the scariest song of the year. From the first few seconds of sounds, we're certain that Charon, the ferryman of lost souls, has kicked open the gates to the underworld. Ominous synth riffs, double bass beats and juke snare hits give way to the desperate moans of Hades' inhabitants, whose wails expand across the water's surface and echo off cavernous walls. Sohrab saturates the vocal samples in such heavy reverb that we lose track of whether they're dying humans grasping for air or air-raid sirens signaling impending doom.

Dream Boat - Your Beaches

Also, Dream Boat covered/re-edited/remixed oOoOO's "NoSummr4u," one of my favorite artists/songs of the year, and it's even creepier than the original. Compare:

oOoOO - NoSummr4u
Dream Boat - oOchre

Find more Dream Boat at the AMDISCS record label.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010


If we take TARAGANA PYJARAMA at the most literal level, using only the information available on his/her/their MySpace page, then here's what we think we know:

1) TARAGANA PYJARAMA self-describe his/her/their music as "surf."

2) The phrase "karibu wasichana" appears to be of the Swahili language, and possibly translates to "welcome girl."

3) The artist(s) claims Somalia as his/her/their location.

4) TARAGANA PYJARAMA likes beautiful images, primarily of women, some of them scantily clad (a trait I take absolutely no displeasure in at all).

5) TARAGANA PYJARAMA have a song called "Girls."

6) TARAGANA PYJARAMA is/are as yet unsigned.

If we dig a little further, we find that TARAGANA PYJARAMA is Nick Eriksen, a Danish knob-twister who also records as EIM ICK. And so, the mystery is solved. Regardless, the seemingly self-enforced shroud of anonymity that surrounds TARAGANA PYJARAMA isn't likely to last long. Not with a song as beautiful, liberating and powerful as "Girls." For six-and-a-half minutes, we are willfully wobbling, biking-under-the-influence around the same sun-soaked circle, woozy as the same warped loop leans from left to right. With indecipherable vocal samples, prodding bass and the lead loop on repeat, this is house at its best. Take note, learn the pronunciation and tell your friends; when TARAGANA PYJARAMA is a household name, you'll be that much cooler for having known it first.


(via No Modest Bear)

Saturday, August 14, 2010


BALAM ACAB is just one of the musical monikers of Alec Koone, who's just another 19-year-old dude making music and nabbing record deals on the computer in his college dorm room. Makes me feel like a no-talent ass-clown, a technologically-challenged twenty-something who wouldn't know what to do with FruityLoops, Logic or Reason. But I'm not bitter: I have Koone's blissed-out, hauntingly beautiful tunes to console my insecurities.

One of the founding fathers of "drag" and/or "witch house," those new micro-genres you've been hearing about, Koone had me with "See Birds," a trembling, treacherous track that seemingly samples both a sweet Siren and a morose demon. The track trips and sputters along, like dubstep drowning in molasses, with fits of acidic distortion sullying the mixture.

"Regret Making Mistakes" originates in the geographic East, with its centuries-old strings and modern-day synths shot to space - then from satellite to tower, from tower to telephone pole, through fiber optics, out the speaker and straight into our cerebral hemispheres.

"Big Boy" is the polar opposite of "See Birds." Where "See Birds" is taut with tension and technological decay, "Big Boy" fades in and floats on, an aqueous, bubbling expression of purification and rebirth. It is as melodically simple as it is aurally pleasing.

Listen to and download these three songs below; find out where to buy the See Birds EP from Tri Angle Records.

BALAM ACAB - See Birds

BALAM ACAB - Regret Making Mistakes


(via Friendship Bracelet, Pitchfork and a mixtape Tri Angle Records made for Wow Magazine)

Friday, August 13, 2010

RxRy - Memory Landscapes EP

More ambient, minimalist electronica from RxRy, one of the year's most brilliant, enigmatic, generous and prolific artists. These five new songs are breathtaking compositions, stylistically sparse but magnificent in melody and measured worth. Self-identified as "drownstep," these are songs one could only hope to hear during his or her descent into dark, deep waters - to find comfort in catharsis. Download the Memory Landscapes EP here; stream previous songs that made me a believer below.

RxRy - Sobr Vokbulry

RxRy - Eaurowi

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Alicia Keys X Physical Therapy

When remixers work their magic on huge pop hits, they are certain to add their signature sound to the mix, but they typically leave the song relatively intact and as club-friendly as possible. Not so with Physical Therapy's treatment of Alicia Keys' "Unthinkable," and it's all the better for it. Where other remixers aim for the club, Physical Therapy puts Keys smack dab in the center of an empty sports arena, with a shuffled beat echoing off bucket seats and back around again. There we are, the lone recipients of a private serenade, from center court all the way up to the standing-room-only section. As the song builds, we're struck hard, woozy from the swells and swirls of sound. Haziness invades. This is pop gone gaze-tronica.


Via an absolutely excellent mixtape Robin Carolan of 20jazzfunkgreats made for France's Wow Magazine. Mad props to both.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Still hot from the postman's hands, Cascaders' cassette on The Curatorial Club is, audaciously—but not one second prematurely—one of the best releases of the year. A free, full-length download helped me form that opinion while I waited to slide that sweet C24 into my Sony Dream Machine. Too fickle to be ambient, too dynamic to be drone, Cascaders' call forth a hybrid transmission chocked full of ethereal tones, a cough-inducing haze, the blips and tweaks of IDM and the fraught echoes of folk and post-rock. Sample "Skybridge" below, and smile as its simple, oscillating synths and tumbling percussion simmer in the summer heat, like mirages ascending from the asphalt into the atmosphere. Download the full release here and buy your tape soon, as it will certainly sell out.

Cascaders - Skybridge

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


If I might jump on the invent-a-micro-genre bandwagon, I'd suggest Bathcrones are woodland-creature wave. If one were on a walkabout through, say, an overgrown English garden, one would hear Bathcrones' music lilting from the lily pads, the product of gnomes playing chimes and whistles in the Lilac-laced pond. Except Bathcrones' Matthew Jackson Johnson bangs his bells and beats from Georgia. Anyway, there's some real magic in Psychorama, Johnson's first full length, out now on No Pain In Pop.

Bathcrones - Vineyard Of The Sea
Bathcrones - False Teeth

(via No Pain In Pop and ALTERED ZONES)

Meanwhile, Guyanese ambient beatmaker Pional remixed Spain's Balearic pop stars Delorean into a similarly fantastical blend of club beats, bodacious bells and seraphic chimes. There's a connection between these three songs, and the mythical creatures in the forests and jungles must be up to something...

Real Love (Pional Remix) by matadorrecs