Ivan Wyschnegradsky - Etude Sur Les Mouvements Rotatoires, 24 Préludes (2002)


Wyschnegradsky was one of the more revolutionary microtonal composers of his time. Instead of using the "other" 12 notes in the 24 tone scale as some sort of embellishment, he built his compositions by integrating the entirety of the scale into the very framework of his music. The result is a truly striking and memorable journey into the hyperchromatic, a collection of desolate and emotionally charged vignettes for those lil' baby intervals.

It's solo piano btw


Chuck Person - Chuck Person's Eccojams Vol. 1 (2010)


Chuck Person, yet another of Daniel Lopatin's aliases (think Oneohtrix Point Never), creates a hazy and hyper-repetitive mix from the superficial and background music of our everyday lives. The sounds of the exterior are brought to the forefront and presented as the final focus, a weird and potentially thought provoking exercise. These aren't jams, no matter how catchy they might be; these are what's left over after the music stops, and your mind's ears are left to take over for the silence.

That hook from that one song that you heard that once somewhere? Yeah, this is that.

be real, it doesnt matter anyway

Katie Gately - Katie Gately (2013)


Gately fills a niche here that I don't think most of us even realized we were missing. Bending acousmatic sounds and her ethereal voice into warped and spacious vignettes that both intrigue and appeal to our most primal pop sensibilities, this S/T is a certain winner.





WFLM Bumper Post - 4 Projects from Auckland, New Zealand (2013)

WFLM Bumper Post - 4 Projects from Auckland, New Zealand (2013)
it's been a while since i checked in here last. in that time, there's been some exciting new developments in auckland music. there's not enough time (or space) to detail them all; but here are some of the highlights :).

Sheep,Dog&Wolf - Egospect

first of all, check out the video for sheep,dog&wolf's amazing new track egospect. it's available for free download, as will be his album, coming out in a couple weeks at this link - http://download.sheepdogandwolf.com/album/egospect

Caroles - Hollow Trophy

caroles released their debut (and maybe only) album. shit is goooooood. free (or paid) download on band camp. grunge/pop punk/emo/alt. 

Cheats - Come Back Here!

cheats, a solo project from lawrence goodwin (of caroles and career girls), is also v v good. nice bedroom pop shit, with a reeeeal good feature from $snoregazzm.

V/A - Augmented Fantasy Mixtape
which segues nicely into this. a mix featuring some of the best tracks from some of new zealand's best acts (including cheats and caroles). promotional material for an amazing zine by dirk peterson, it's available for free download(!!) and the zine for only 15 nzd. crazy.

Marc-André Hamelin - Roslavets' Piano Music


Roslavets is occasionally referred to as the "Russian Schoenberg," an entirely ill fitting comparison in my opinion. Whereas Schoenberg's work often (but not always) sounds cold and mathematical, Roslavets' has a certain lifeblood coursing through its veins, something that can't be faked or imitated. The atmosphere is often tense, with sputters of notes coming and disappearing just as quickly, and an often seemingly illogical composition style, that only presents itself upon closer listening. While certainly not traditionally tonal, these pieces are not lacking in emotion or excitement. Marc-André Hamelin doesn't always play with much gusto, but it is satisfying enough, especially considering the source material, and at points he really brings everything to light.

Try

Purchase

Ironing Board Sam's Tenth



Ironing Board Sam is an old school blues and rock musician, with his music bordering on psychedelic  His name comes from his homemade keyboard, which goddamn, he really shreds on. I don't normally post kickstarters, but here's one that absolutely deserves your attention.


This documentary, made by the inestimable film-maker Tom Ciaburri (maker of my favorite ads for Cathead Vodka (fuck you, I am not selling out right here!)).

Anyways, to support this amazing musician and to see some clips from the upcoming film (I've seen a rough cut; it's fantastic!), hit up the kickstarter page here.

Matinee Slim and the Ultralight Orchestra - Sugarcane (2006)



For an all too brief time in my little hometown, these guys were supreme. Super tight, super talented and handsome men, playing lyrically over-the-top, hyper-sexual funk music. Highlights on this one are 'Sweet Tooth', 'Stop' and my fave, 'Cliche Guevara'. The only stuff to play to seduce someone special, or maybe freak them out in the best way.

Give it a try here, or support them here or on the ol' iTunes.

Peace, love and cheeba.

DenMother - Insides Out (2012)



Heavy, sexy, percussive, ambient, moody, sultry, dark, awesome. That's all you need to know.

See for yourself below, or listen more and name your price here.

Os Tropies - Tropicalia! (2012)



For any and all fans of Caetano Veloso, Gal Costa, Os Mutantes and the like, this band is a must hear. Sextuple-handedly bringing back Tropicalia, these fine folks pay homage to the Brazilian movement by covering classics, as well as producing originals so authentic you'd swear they walked out of the sixties.

Preview below, stream or purchase to own here. And I swear I'll stop hyping Toronto after this post, because I'm starting to sound like a broken record, but... these guys are covering Caetano Veloso's first solo album in its entirety tomorrow night, and if you're close and enjoy this kinda stuff, you should probably come.

Tobacco - LA UTI (2010)

This essentially finishes off the archival of Tobacco's solo music on WFLM (not including the recent split, compilations, bootlegs, etc.).  This EP features a set of guest rappers (all of which are listed as Labels) over tracks featured on Maniac Meat and otherwise unreleased instrumentals.  Falling into the latter category is album-highlight "Lamborghini Meltdown," which is worth the download alone.  This one also befits a summer playlist.

Kerosene Comic Book - The 420 Tape

Kerosene Comic Book - The 420 Tape

(TO WHOEVER IS MAINTAING THIS BLOG ATM, CAN YOU MAKE THE PICTURE GO ON THE FRONT PAGE AND THEN EDIT THIS TEXT OUT, PLEASE, I DON'T KNOW HOW TO DO IT, THANK YOU BASED WEBMASTER) dropped a few days ago on, suprisingly enough, 4/20, this tape collects tracks from (i think) all of the KCB collective. dope as fuck, as always. trap influences abound, dubstep remnants can be felt, hip hop is ever present and it all smells supa supa dank. get yr smoke on to this shit.

Ringo Deathstarr - Mauve (2012)

With the approach of summer, I figure that this is the perfect time to drop this album on you guys.  Ringo Deathstarr sound like a quintessential Texas band; by that I mean that their particular brand of shoegaze is dripping in summer haze.  This record alternates between garage rock and 90s alternative influences to slow, dopey slacker "anthems."  A dash of bass groove can be found dragging in the dirt, and the vocals don't stray from the tried-and-true quasi-male-female dynamic a la Shields and Butcher.  Particularly recommended if the phrase "Smashing Pumpkins gone shoegaze" grabs you.

Nekromantheon - Rise, Vulcan Spectre (2012)

riffs, satan poseidon, heavy hitting old school thrash in the year of our lord 2012, uhh wait this isn't the labels section~~~   norway

If any of the above appeals to you, I present the Metal-Archives similar artists section:
Aura Noir
Deathhammer
Kreator
Antichrist
Slayer
Deathstorm
Morbid Saint

HUT - HUT S/P LP (2009)



In more news of good news from Canadaland, this is old news, but still good news. From the frontman of such awesome projects as Phedre and Hooded Fang, this garage rock band is washy, catchy, and a little messy in the best way. I'm pretty hooked, and have been for a while.

Listen below, try or buy here.

Usnea - Usnea (2013)

This debut excels in its variety.  While the majority of the record falls into the doom metal camp, black metal interludes occasionally make an appearance.  These are certainly genres of music where mastery of one doesn't imply a particular musical disposition for exceptional crafting ability in the style of the other; however, just like all good musicians, the group makes both "sides" of the album emotive and interesting to the listener, and the transition between each relatively seamless.  It's also relevant to note that even the doom portions segue between the majestic and oppressive (think funeral) to old-school, devil-worshiping Sabbathian jams.  For those who follow the scene, it may make sense to think of this as existing on the opposite side of the black metal coin as Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult's also good 2013 record (Necrovision), an album of unwavering second-wave punishment.  Usnea isn't afraid to mix it up a bit.   

Video Highlight + Q&A: Tzvika Force (2013)

Photo Courtesy of Alexander Kinik
This video was sent to us cordially by Tzvika Force, an Israelite singer-songwriter/musician who makes an impressive mix of powerful, soulful vocals, and unique and articulate instrumentation. We did a Q&A with him about the following video, which includes various playful and interesting imagery:


How did this video come about, and how difficult was it to put it together?
On the day we shot the video everything worked like a charm. We arrived on set and things just started to happen on their own. Everything synced and matched - the haunted studio that was once a factory of large iron drain covers in the old part of Tel Aviv, the broken, dusty piano, Joy, the Indian, who got into character perfectly and of course the song which was playing in the background throughout the day and inspired us. Also, we had a lot of fun working with the guys of Video De Lux, who directed and edited the video. These days, artists usually take care of everything and need to keep it all under control, but on our shooting day I just arrived on set, shot my part, had a really good time and went home. It was quite a refreshing change. The crew also really loved and connected to the song – which, they say, doesn't happen to them very often, so I guess that's probably why the video came out so authentic.

There seems to be a bustling music scene blossoming out of Israel when it comes to modern acts, and your music stands out in terms of both your voice, and how unique the music is, how do you feel about your place within this scene?
That's true, and the competition is tough but I'm really glad I have my ways to standout and be unique. I think that's all one really needs in any artistic field. Nowadays, when there are so many ways to get your music out there and with the variety of so many wonderful musicians around, you need to leave your identifying mark so the listeners can immediately recognize you and your work. Despite today's blossoming scene, there's still a strong sense that many people here are "afraid" or not yet ready to be exposed to different, less conventional things and prefer what's simple and familiar. But still, there's definitely a positive development compared to earlier years. You can hear it on the radio, on television and feel it in the audience's reaction, it's spreading and it's totally great. I hope to have an impact on this process by exposing more and more people here to new music and new musical styles.

The music seems to combine both a) strong, wonderful vocals and b) unique, and interesting instrumentation; did this decision come about consciously, or was it pure coincidence?
I've always wanted to excite and fascinate the audience so I guess this is a choice my subconscious made and I kept over the years. I always think about what would excite me and what I would like to listen to and I follow these thoughts, I act and write upon them. I also listen to a lot of new music and I'm very influenced by what's happening worldwide, especially technology wise. I guess the fact that I'm a guy who loves drama and theatricality is reflected in my music and my musical choices, but so many things also just happen by coincidence, like my connection with Ben Specter – the EP's musical producer, my work with the band and just random things that happen in my life which expose me to new musical directions. The music keeps bursting into my life by surprise. All the sudden I get this intense, uncontrollable need to write a specific song or compose a specific tune. It still manages to amaze me every time. This need I have to share things with the listener and the audience always fascinated me and it's there every step of the way.

--------------•--------------

Later on, we will do a review of his upcoming EP, Petite Nature, which is fantastic enough.

Want us to do a feature on you? Email us at interviewmachinewflm@gmail.com.

Gasp - Drome Triler of Puzzle Zoo People (1998)


Drome Triler of Puzzle Zoo People is perhaps one of the more unique albums released under the hardcore domain.  The music here is an oddball mix of sludge influenced grindcore (an odd combination in and of itself) and ambient interludes; the caveat is that the two rarely intermix à la Iron Lung's White Glove Test, that artist's recent, perhaps contrived, mix of noise and hardcore.  Regardless, this psych-tinged Californian hardcore is worth sharing.  If you enjoy this one, here's Gasp's 2005 compilation, which contains tracks from numerous splits (Noothgrush, Deerhoof, Suffering Luna, Volume 11), along with unreleased and demo-sourced material.

Fire! Orchestra - Exit! (2013)

The latest in a series of releases from Fire, a trio made up of Mats Gustafsson, Johan Berthling, and Andreas Werliin.

In particular, Fire Orchestra is Fire plus twenty five.  The group delivers an excellent take on free jazz, though that may be pigeonholing the music actually contained on Exit.  Reminiscent of post rock, the album's two tracks both thrive on the gradual crescendo while centering around a steady backbone.  While the music does eventually let loose, the subtlety of much of the playing (and singing) is what gives the record its atmosphere which, in turn, may set it aside from what people normally think of as free jazz.  Highly recommended.

Disperse - Living Mirrors (2013)


Polish fusion-y djent in the vein of Periphery and Animals as Leaders -- tons of those beautiful melodies and wonderful atmospheres which differentiate Periphery songwriter Misha Mansoor's work 
from the other djent out there.  However, the music is really grounded in the impressive guitar work of Jakub Żytecki, whose tasteful shredding bears a stunning resemblance to that of Tosin Abasi on Animals as Leaders' self-titled.  The predominantly "scene" (think Spencer Sotelo) clean vocals can prove to be a damper on the whole experience, but they're usually tolerable, and even occasionally work.  Regardless, highly recommended to any prog-heads.

Ike - Bello (2013)


fun, witty, and deliciously proficient, ike have put out a great EP called bello. self described as electric rock, i'd say that they have hit the nail on the head; the production is clean and jarringly similar to that of most new-age anf fusion jazz releases i.e. get this shit now. it needs to be heard. will definitely be watching these folks to see what they do in times to come.

Haunted Leather - Red Road (2013)


it seems like this is going to be the official (as 2012 was just a prep) year that psych rock comes back at full force. haunted leather have put out a stunning, albeit lo-fi, collection of seven electrifying songs. their small label stolen body records will be putting out a limited, 250 copy european release of their record this april.





Bruce Peninsula - Bruce Trail Fire Sale (2011)



Gave these guys some love a long while back, and this recording is old news, but if you haven't heard it yet, dig into Bruce Trail Fire Sale.

Hands down my favourite band in Toronto, this is a short EP soaked in their signature minor keys, gorgeous vocals, and beautifully textured production value, though a little lighter and less raucous than their full albums. A particularly beautiful track is the ever-Canadian tribute to Loudon Wainwright III and company, in the form of a cover of Swimming Song.

Enjoy a preview below, and stream and purchase the whole thing here.

Video Highlight: The Aprons (2013)



israelite female duo the aprons have come out with a wonderful video that perfectly accompanies the haunting fragility of their dark, dream-pop music, featured here in the first installment of our video highlights. 




want to share a video of yours? email us at:

Dilly Dally - Candy Mountain (2012)



And in other news of amazing things happening in Toronto, these guys are some of my all-time favourites.

Great lyrics, moody melodies and dynamically huge, washed in reverb and moaned and hummed by a lady with a killer voice.

Their next full record is coming very soon, but in the meantime, you can listen up and check in here.

Prince Nifty - Vox News Double Double Dose (2012)



Saw this guy live the other night, and he's doing some really fantastic things. Also a member of Owen Pallett's live set, his stuff is self-tagged as "weird everything folk soul" - I hear it as a glitchy, rhythmic, laid back but still biting, with distorted vocals and serious catch.

Name your price, and look for more stuff, here.

Wintergatan


Apologies. This is not an album download (oh how I wish it were), but I promise you'll love it.

Okay, so first, music:

This is the new project of  Martin Molin, who you might know from his legendary folktronica trio Detektivbyrån.  - Corrected!
This new project is called Wintergatan, and while it has many of the melodic and whistful ideas of Detektivbyrån, it uses them in a much more proggy way. I'm reminded of fnessnej (link leads to an old post of mine about them, which may or may not have a working download link), with echoes of Mum.
I'm eagerly awaiting for the release of this album.

Note to fellow posters: if what you're posting is
 a. on the front page of pitchfork
           or
b. is a classic album that everyone knows (or should know) about

then reconsider posting it here. This site has so much potential for eye-opening deep-cuts, so let's try to maintain some quality.

Much love.

Hair Police - Mercurial Rites (2013)


The punk attitude is one that transcends genres. It's a state of mind that works its way into the thoughts of artists of all flags, showing itself through many different media. It manifests itself as a desire to stand out, and to declare a righteous "fuck you" to everyone who cares. Hair Police, while obviously noise makers and a long cry from "punk" music, bleed this attitude through their amplifiers and screamed vocals. Harsh, metallic drones and muffled clangs, sourced from lord-knows-what, create an almost terrifying atmosphere, devoid of any hope or warmth. Feedback and distorted shouts tunnel their way through the madness, but the album avoids devolving into a mush of indistinct hum. Each outburst of noise, whether it be the wail of a guitar or the screech of a synth, is a distinct sonic statement, declaring that Hair Police are putting everything in the forefront, and holding nothing back.


Ben Vida - Esstends - Esstends - Esstends (2012)


Exploration of timbres in music has been prevalent in experimental music throughout history, but with the advent of computers, the exploratory gear gained unimaginable possibilities. Any sound could be recorded and screwed around with to pieces, and digital synthesizers (and analog, for that matter) could be tweaked and tuned to anyone's most perverted desire. Ben Vida, a resident of the excellent PAN label, takes these concepts to heart with his most recent outing. Sampled and destroyed sounds are programmed to maximum psychedelic potency, and synths are used to a high potential. On the droning "zizzlerz," many different pitches shift slowly to form new chords and harmonies, pulling you along their slow journey to new contrasts and consonances. Other times, tones grow from earth shaking (and barely audible) rumbles to piercing, airy highs, surrounded by and included within original and unique composition and production. Super recommendation coming through.


Buke and Gase - General Dome (2013)


Progressive, experimental, and math-influenced indie rock; it's catchy too.

buke - a six-string former baritone ukulele.
gase - a guitar-bass hybrid.

Buke and Gase is a duo comprised of former members of a post-punk group, and it's not hard to hear elements of the post-punk sound contained on this record.  Wonderfully fun to listen to, particularly highlight track "Hiccup."

In Transit - Recycle Culture (2013)


A whole new year of releases to look forward to, and the first few good ones are starting to trickle in. Woot! Mostly ambient pads and swirls (and some acoustic instrumentation) with downtempo beats and the occasional funky bass line to keep everything grounded, this specimen is great for a background soundtrack while you spend your time being awesome. Happy (very belated) new year!

Alberto Iglesias - The Dancer Upstairs OST (2002)



Alberto Iglesias is a fantastic Spanish composer most famous for his scores of Pedro Almodovar's excellent films. here he provides the music for John Malkovich's directorial debut, which is predictably pretty awesome in its own right. like another of my favorite film composers Osvaldo Golijov (who is now apparently Francis Ford Coppola's go-to music dude), Iglesias uses indigenous musical elements to flavor his compositions, most notably in the opener "Pasito" and "Calle Diderot." but what separates him from similar composers is his modern aesthetic, which incorporates contemporary techniques like dense swarms of microtonal strings ("Theatre") and prepared piano ("The Dancer Upstairs 1"), but pairs them with nods to traditional classical idioms. for instance "Blackout Violino", with it's little repeated pedal drone, reminds me of the superb fugue from Bartok's Solo Violin Sonata. altogether it's a compelling mishmash of styles that maintains a stark edge without losing the lushness essential to the emotional resonance of the score.

Malkovich Malkovich?

Njiqahdda - Serpents in the Sky (2013)


Njiqahdda are nothing if not prolific, but the extra time spent on this one (the band's last release was in 2011, during which it was responsible for four LPs) could be the reason for its quality.  Serpents in the Sky shines as an avant-garde, though still coherent and accessible, 70+ minute black metal album.  Thankfully, this one avoids the most familiar of prog metal trappings during what is possibly the apex of the genre's popularity (and staleness).


Feature: J. Nolan and The Upbringing


J. Nolan is the CO behind what he has established as The Manifest Movement, the purpose of which is "to crate a platform for artists to reach the masses while encouraging fellowship within the community." Whether or not he'll be able to reach this goal remains to be seen, but so far he's done more than enough to be on the right path, and it seems he might be able to materialize his goals after all.

As an artist, I'm aiming to create a longstanding career and just bring another side to what a lot of people would call 'street music.' Most times you'd think of senseless violence and ignorance for a tagline like that, but people overlook the ethics, spiritual inclination, and awareness that can come from it.
Nolan's work is riddled with interesting and impressive elements; his lyrical delivery has a certain amount of efficacy that stands ground among the most bare-bone and honest songwriters - furthermore, his work with Yung B has spawned one of the most solid duos in the scene. The beat selection is left-field and reminiscent of some of the west-coast street-strange experimentation that is going on (Maddgibbs, Ghostpurp, etc), as well as being in par with some NY aesthetics. A very powerful release, it'll be interesting to see where things go for Nolan and his movement.
Cover for "The Upbringing"
We did an interview with the artist, who currently makes his home in Atlanta, GA, about his work, working with Yung B, and what is next after the release of The Upbringing.

WFLM: First things first, tell us a little about yourself, what your mission is and anything else you'd like to mention.

JN: Well, my name is Jamar Anthony Nolan. Many people know me by the stage name, J.Nolan or simply Nolan. I'm originally from New Haven, Connecticut and have spent a majority of my life in various areas of Atlanta, GA. Part of my childhood was split between Atlanta and San Jose, California so I got to experience a few regional differences in my younger years and each place has played a role in who I am today.

My mission is pretty simple. I have a personal motto that I recently adopted: "Excellence is the only goal." What that means to me is that I'm striving to do my best in whatever I take part in. As an artist, I'm aiming to create a longstanding career and just bring another side to what a lot of people would call 'street music.' Most times you'd think of senseless violence and ignorance for a tagline like that, but people overlook the ethics, spiritual inclination, and awareness that can come from it. I feel like that's where people like myself and Yung B Da Producer can kind of connect the dots. Whatever influence I'm able to gain, I'd like to help bring others closer to that side of life and let them know that they can embrace their higher selves regardless of their past. The toughest thing is to do that without coming across as corny so I make sure to make the best grade of music so I can still appeal to folks' worldly senses. They'll relate to me on one side, if not the other.
A lot of people feel pressure to 'dumb themselves down' and I'm more about pushing that part of the culture forward. Whether it's conveying spiritual ideals or just explaining life in a slightly more articulate fashion, I think that's something I'm able to do pretty easily.
WFLM: How would you summarize the process of recording and releasing this album?

JN: The process of recording the album was a bit out of the ordinary for us. We actually had to record everything separately and collaborate through emails. That's pretty standard these days for random features or when dealing with producers, but to complete a whole album with the kind of chemistry we have was definitely an interesting process. Releasing it was another obstacle. We originally expected to have it out between mid October - early November, but personal life kind of had its way of slowing things down. But I was really adamant about getting The Upbringing out before 2013 hit so we just went for it. It was a blessing that we ended up finding a reliable distribution source for all the outlets we ended up covering (iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Rdio, etc). This was both of our first times having an official product for sale even though we're giving people the choice to purchase or not.

Watch an old interview of Nolan

WFLM: You mentioned that you like to make sure that the music is top notch so you can deliver your message better, could you elaborate on how you make that happen?

JN: That's really just in terms of making sure the overall theme is apparent to the listeners. You want people to be able to navigate through your project pretty smoothly. Even if they don't completely understand what you're talking about, you want them to feel a certain way when they hear it. We're very big on the spiritual element of things, but we weren't always this way. Our experiences that led us to this point are what we touched on with The Upbringing. That picture is painted with the production, the rhymes, and even the artwork. Everything about this album is pretty aggressive.

WFLM: On that topic, the music selection is actually pretty left field for the subject spoken, how did you and your producer come to select the beats for the songs?

JN: When I work with Yung B, I let him pretty much take the driver's seat. He came up with the beats and in a lot of ways, he orchestrated the direction of the songs. Before we started on anything, we both had been talking about wanting to make something that felt like the early 2000s era of Roc-a-fella/Dipset/State Property in terms of production and bringing our personalities to that sound.


WFLM: Is collaborating something you want to make a priority?

JN: I wouldn't say it's really a priority. My whole thing is carving out a lane for the full dynamic of our sound and message. Once you develop your own space, it's interesting to bring other artists into your world. And I understand when other people want to bring me into their world as well; it just makes everyone's movement
that much more exciting.

WFLM: You said that you wanted the project to be easy to navigate through even if the listener doesn't completely understand your message from first listen, do you find that doing this makes the album more enjoyable, making it easy for the listener to come back and decipher deeper meanings within songs?

JN: Yeah, for sure. I feel like music should be enjoyable at surface level first. The object is to make a good song that people want to listen to. It's just about having the songwriting ability to make something that's thought provoking at the same time.

WFLM: So while you liked to work with Yung B, would you say there is a high chance you would try other producers? Lately, it seems like everyone is collaborating with everyone.

JN: Of course. I've worked with a variety of producers on my previous work and even my upcoming projects have other producers on them. The situation with Yung B is that we're family and we started out making music together before anyone even took notice to who we were, so it's more than just making tracks with us. It's about crafting a whole sound and bringing forth our personal image as a team.

WFLM: Do you feel accomplished with the language you used to convey your ideas in the songs?

JN: Well, if you mean am I satisfied with the language used, then yes. I personally don't use any profanity in my lyrics and I've gotten to the point where I can speak about anything I want without being vulgar. That's an accomplishment in and of itself in Hip-Hop. Beyond that, our genre of music seems to have a very limited vocabulary at times. A lot of people feel pressure to 'dumb themselves down' and I'm more about pushing that part of the culture forward. Whether it's conveying spiritual ideals or just explaining life in a slightly more articulate fashion, I think that's something I'm able to do pretty easily.

WFLM: And finally, where do you stand now that the record is released? Do you plan on trying to instigate touring, or supporting it in similar ways? What's next?

JN: We're definitely entertaining the possibility of touring. It's a bit tough to call since we're virtually doing all of this alone so the resources are scarce, but I'm a firm believer in timing. So even if touring doesn't come directly from this project, our time will come. We will have some music videos for The Upbringing released in the near future, though. Outside of that, I'm preparing my next solo project "Distinction" and putting the pieces together to launch my #DistinguishYourself campaign. Yung B is also getting ready to make his solo debut.
-------------

Nolan has decided to release the album in a "pay what you want" fashion, so don't forget to pick a copy of The Upbringing at his bandcamp page.

Aksumite - Prideless Lions (2012)

Pretty killer experimental black metal from DIY label Colloquial Sound Recordings, complete with tape hiss.

Cool things about this one:
- African tribal religion theme
- Punk meets black metal

For that second one, think punk riffs and vocals with the occasional shriek and/or blastbeat.  Still much darker and more metallic than your average hardcore release.



Talking Heads - Remain in Light (1980)


If there's one thing David Byrne's recent outing as long-form non-fiction writer, How Music Works (looks at the societal, cultural, and business aspects of the creative process; written for the layman and, though I'm only about halfway through, highly recommended), accomplishes, it's a startling good advertisement for his music, particularly his tenure as co-founder of the Talking Heads.  Byrne describes the creation of Remain in Light as a sort of contrast to what went into TH's previous albums (first and formost, the band started with a completely blank slate).  Byrne's just finished collaboration with Brian Eno, a groundbreaking experiment in sampling titled My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, influenced the group to use a similar method.  Without going into too much further detail, songs were crafted around a certain musical motif (which varied from drum beats to guitar licks) where the rest of the band would simply expand on each song's "motif."  The result is an album with undeniable groove, catchy choruses, and artsy bits: a mixture with massively broad appeal.  


Swimful Buterfly - 馬路天使 [Street Angel] (2013)


some blissful, sprawling stuff from china. the scene in some pockets of the country is growing pretty strong, and this bliss-hop/420/cloud shit is a fine example of that. really impressive stuff. also, he produced for lil b once. go figure.

Timeghoul - 1992-1994 Discography (2012)


Old school DM group formed in 1987 as Doom's Lyre.  This is a compilation of their complete discography.   Sadly, it's only comprised of two demos: Tumultuous Travelings and Panaramic Twilight (misspellings are kvlt) released in '92 and '94, respectively.  Regardless, this is an excellent sci-fi spin on the genre, complete with an over-abundance of excellent OSDM riffs.  The music here definitely leans progressive/technical, but it retains a raw edge and, despite the recent rework and the on-going loudness war, is certainly not overproduced.  This one's neither bricked nor shiny-clean.  One of the very best releases of 2012.

Suhnraw - Beat Addict. (2013)


now this aint no sun ra, but it sure does justice to the name. beat-based venture dabbling in everything from glitch-hop to sample based cut-wizardy from japan. savvy in what it does, this guy delivers frequently. 2013 not being terrible once more.

Lil Ugly Mane - Mista Thug Isolation (2012)


This is trill (for the uninitiated, that's a combination of true and real) gangsta rap made by some white guy from Richmond, VA.  It's also trap at its finest: there's nothing intelligent or obscure about the lyrics here (as opposed to, say, a verse from Madvillainy), and if you take offense to misogyny, near-constant weed babble, or the like, this album isn't for you.  If you dig deliriously heavy and sludgy trap beats, produced by Lil Ugly Mane co-conspirator Shawn Kemp: look no further.

Oh, and let's have a hand for that killer, LUM-original album artwork up there.

V/A - Living Is Hard: West African Music In Britain, 1927 - 1929 (2008)



Really fascinating collection of recordings from West African musicians living in Britain in the 1920s, originally found and recorded by Reverend J. J. Ransome-Kuti, Fela's grandfather.

Lots more written, and available for purchase, here.

CHARMS - Hillary (2013)                               


look at that fucking cover jesus christ. anyway, charms is a seattle based jangle-pop-garage-indie-rock group recently formed, with a sound that recalls the great "lost" 90s classics (lovelyville, alien lanes, stratosphere, bakesale, et al.) with ease while interpolating all that with scrunchy, jangly garage rock.

wowdidireallyforgetthis

Norwegian Arms - Wolf Like a Stray Dog (2013)


so far, 2013 is shaping up. norwegian arms is a neo-freak-psychedelic-folk band that released a stunning ep 2 years ago, and with their debut, they prove to be a budding force. complex, energetic, and somberly fun - all wrapped up in this great album. 

Hiatus Kaiyote - Tawk Tomahawk (2012)


i'm adding this as an addendum to the best of 2012 list. this sprawling release is smooth, fresh, interesting, experimental, and most notably of all: good. damn good. nu-jazzy, trip-hoppy even, smooth interesting pop ala the collab between gorillaz and little dragon. expect this on the next mix.