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Iggy Pot
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Music For The Modern Weirdo
Music For The Modern Weirdo

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Northern Italy’s Bee Bee Sea served up a super tasty helping of surfed-out garage rock on their 2017 sophomore release Sonic Boomerang (Dirty Water Records USA/Wild Honey Records). Hailing from the industrial town of Castel Goffredo, the trio features Wilson Wilson on guitar/vocals, Giacomo Parisio on bass, and Andrea Onofrio on drums–with Parisio and Onofrio contributing backing vocals. The group returns this week with a new video for “This Dog Is The King Of The Losers,” which premiered today via FLOOD Magazine. Director Marco Bianchini returns to do the honors here, having also directed the band’s video for “D.I. Why Why Why.” Showing off their doggy style, the Bee Bee Sea don their canine accoutrements and get down to some serious shredding in outer space. With plenty of cute pouches making cameos, and a little leg humping thrown in for good measure, you can be sure every good dog has its’ day!
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Seattle’s Deer Venom released a self-titled EP this winter, and the rowdy 4-track collection has been one of our favorites ever since so we were more than stoked when the project’s founder Mario Barbetta asked us to produce a video for the standout cut “Not Today.” The EP has received airplay on the KEXP shows Sonic Reducer and Audioasis, and the track has been featured on Real Punk Radio, CILU’s The Sonic Blender, and Punk Rock Demonstration, as well as coverage on an international smattering of blogs including Velvety, Soundsphere Magazine, Sounds Good, and Schmutz. The video for “Not Today” was directed by a shadowy figure within the ranks of our Live Eye Tv crew who goes by the name Pilfered Viewings III, and it’s an homage to classic-era film noir, B-grade horror flicks, and Russ Meyer’s buxom classic Faster, Pussycat! Kill, Kill. When asked for a brief synopsis, Viewings offered:

“”Not Today” chronicles the exploits of a creeping Orange Menace. When a band of Supernal Females hops aboard a flying saucer to meet the challenge, it leads to an epic showdown at the White House.”

When we pressed the dude further as to just what this Orange Menace was, and who this band of Females included, he said: “Watch the video!”–and hung up the phone. So we did, and while the Orange Menace soon became painfully clear, we reckon that band of Supernal Females includes some super-rad ladies like X-Ray Spex Poly Styrene, Siouxsie Sioux, Debbie Harry, and Vivienne Westwood, as well as the occultist Madame Blavatsky, “If I can’t dance, it’s not my revolution”‘s Emma Goldman, and a gun-toting Joan Crawford. With an eminent bunch of ass-kickers like that fighting for all that is Good and Just, that Orange Wigged Monkey doesn’t stand a chance!

Deer Venom is a Seattle-based post-punk band founded by multi-instrumentalist Mario Barbetta in his basement in 2010. His self-titled EP was recorded at Seattle’s Earwig Studio with engineer Don Farwell and hired gun Mike Stone on drums. The release features Barbetta on guitar, vocals, and bass. Watch “Not Today”…
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FRIGS debut LP Basic Behaviour came out this past February on Arts & Crafts, and this week the Toronto-based post-punk band released a new video for their standout track “Talking Pictures.” The four-piece explains:

“”Talking Pictures” relies, not on narrative, but on evoking a sense of disillusionment. We wanted a video that similarly eschewed narrative in order to portray this feeling through distorted perspective, overlapping subjects and a black-and-white pallet.”

Led by vocalist Bria Salmena, the track walks a tightwire of brooding tension as the band fights to hold a palpable sense of dissonance at bay. Adopting a variety of vocal strategies, Salmena alternates between cool delivery, rough-hewn recitation, and melodic intonation, before pushing her voice to its’ rawest last nerve. Video director Christopher Mills follows suit with a dizzying monochromatic portrayel of the band that constantly shifts directions as the imagery stutters and blurs into a bleary-eyed double and triple vision. Mills offers this perspective:

“The camera seems to be broken in a glitchy, 360 degree virtual space filled with multiple exposures of FRIGS, occasionally, and inadvertently disrupted by glitchy abstract shapes, in this dark, and moody portraiture.”
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American avant-garde composer and guitarist Patrick Higgins will release his Dossier LP on June 1st via Nicolas Jaar’s Other People label. Higgins is known for his work in the experimental NYC project Zs, which he joined in 2012 to help with touring and recording. Since that time the musician has played on the group’s 2013 EP “Grain” (Northern-Spy Records), as well as co-composing and producing the 2015 LP effort Xe, also out on the label, as well as 2018’s Noth LP out via Social Noise. In addition, recent years have seen the musician rise to prominence as a contemporary composer having written numerous works for string quartet, chamber orchestra, and solo instruments including Higgins’ Bachanalia, an electro-acoustic record of classical guitar performances of the music of Johan Sebastian Bach, TOCSIN, performed at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn as a multi-media concert and art installation of Higgins’ chamber music, as well as “Hyperborea,” a piece written for string orchestra and live electronics performed by the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra in 2017. Prolific to say the least, Higgins also composed the score for the 2016 feature film As You Are (dir. by Miles Joris-Peyrafitte), which won a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.

Patrick Higgins’ upcoming release Dossier is an astounding four-movement work of solo guitar and custom electronics performed live without overdubs or edits. Developed over a two year period and first premiered back in 2016 during his 10 country European tour, the album features original programming and live sampling using midi triggers mapped to the guitar. With the instrument operating as a doorway into an extraordinary world of textured sound, Dossier explodes all previous notions of what the guitar is capable of. Below you can watch the musicians’ unparalleled technique as he performs sections of “Pitch Black” and “White Lie” live at Mottalciata in Torino, IT back in February of this year. The musician is also planning an upcoming European and US album tour for Dossier, and we will post the dates as soon as we know them.
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The Portland-based four-piece Lithics are readying their Mating Surfaces LP for release on May 25th via Kill Rock Stars. The band is comprised of singer/guitarist Aubrey Hornor, guitarist Mason Crumley, bassist Bob Desaulniers, and drummer Wiley Hickson. Lithics previous LP Borrowed Floors came out in 2016 on Portland’s Water Wing Records, and they have two self-released EPs: 2017’s Wendy Kraemer and a self-titled debut effort from 2015. The band’s tightly wired post-punk is reminiscent of some of the best the genre had to offer in the late 70’s/early 80’s, but they focus the lens of their social critique squarely on the NOW.

Discussing their new track “Specs,” Lithics explain that the song is about the “presumptuous desire to know the details about a stranger’s personal life.” Distinguished by a taut interplay between nerve-wracked guitar work, the driving tension of low-end, and crisply simmering drums, Hornor’s disaffected vocals add to this cut’s cool veneer. The video for “Specs” was directed by the band themselves, and talking about it with Brooklyn Vegan this week, they demurely explained: “It was easy, literally anyone could have done it.” The DIY visuals were shot on a “grey winter morning,” and they find the band set-up in a cozy living room and walking around a chilly reservoir–with a cat cameo and some nose-blowing thrown in for good measure.
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Playing a bit of catch up here, but we wanted to let you know about Tsuku Boshi‘s winter release of the Waxy Tomb LP GridDrip. The French label specializes in experimental, electronic, and art related music projects, and Waxy Tomb definitely touches all those buttons. The project is the work of Bay-area resident Julia Litman-Cleper and we are told: “Waxy Tomb” is the pet name of a disequilibrium chamber, used for the cooling process after self-columns have been collapsed or dis-localized.” Litman-Cleper is an artist, designer, and educator with a Masters of Science in Architecture Studies, Design, and Computation from MIT. The artist explains:

“I scientifically research how physics simulation and interactivity influence our causal perception of the world and vice versa, suggesting methods to design interfaces which foster intuitive creative expression, communication, and storytelling.”

Previous releases from Waxy Tomb have included 2013’s infra_shape (Weird Ear Records) and Mind Rats (Brad Grammar), 2012’s split releases Mollusk In Water/Take One Try All (Hormone Pills) (Weird Forest Records) and Anoarmholdsyou/New Realities (KDVS Recordings) with the sound artists Sagan Genesis and Psychic Reality, respectively. In addition, Waxy Tomb was part of Ratskin Records 50 tape GOLD BOX compilation, appearing on a short cassette with Different Dentist.

Browsing the artist’s website quickly reveals that Litman-Cleper resides somewhere in the future with a strong interest in how humans interface with digital realities, as well as their real and physical surroundings. As such, Waxy Tomb’s sound offerings can be seen as a further extension of these preoccupations. GripDrip came out this past January, and the 12-track LP, sampled below via the Tsuku Boshi Soundcloud embed, offers quite the head-spinning collection of audio. Many of these come in under or just over the two-minute mark, with the album track “PastLines“–which you can hear in the sampler–running the longest at just over four minutes. It’s as though these are provisional attempts to sketch out the imagined audio realities of digital objects and urban space. Often narrated by a seemingly disembodied vocal source, Waxy Tomb collides together computer tones and modem-speak with hair-trigger snippets of flushed rhythm making for soundscapes that bridge the narrowing distance between human and automated reality.
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Austin-based experimental and classical cellist Randall Holt will re-issue his solo LP Inside the Kingdom of Splendor and Madness on April 20th via Self-Sabotage Records. Originally put out digitally in 2016, this re-issue on cassette and compact disc marks the first physical release for the album. Holt is a member of the improvisational group Knest (with Thor Harris and Jonathan Horne), as well as Horne+Holt, and he has also played in Reverend Glasseye and collaborated with artists like Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Yann Tiersen, Eric McFadden Trio and the jazz composer Adam Rudolph. The cellist recorded his solo LP with Chico Jones at Ohm Recording Facility in Austin, TX using a live-looping set-up – much in the same way as he would perform live. We recently had a chance to communicate with the musician via email, and Holt took time to discuss his compositional and recording methods, the difficulties of putting out a solo record, and the inspiration behind it, before touching upon his upcoming musical ventures for 2018. Stop by to read the interview...
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Mexicali-based electronic producer Marco Polo Gutierrez goes by the moniker Siete Catorce, and this year the young musician returns with a new 4-track EP called Agnosia, due out via the Greek label Hypermedium. Gutierrez came of age in Oakland attending all-night quinceañeras where he was introduced to the dance sounds of cumbia. After his mother was caught using her sister’s passport while traveling to Mexico to visit a sick relative, she was deported, and the family relocated to Mexicali. It was there, as a teenager, that Gutierrez downloaded a copy of Abelton and began to experiment making electronic dance music. The artist explains:

“First came the teenage boredom, then the isolation; followed by an introduction to raves, a few lessons in desktop mixing, and a period of dancing around genres and scenes before finally finding a sound.”

Quickly embraced by Tijuana’s ruidosón scene–an electro-folk style that often mixes cumbia-like rhythms and dub-step with the dark and tragic mood of the narco-corridos, Gutierrez would go on to sign with the label NAAFI before moving to Mexico City where he released 2013’s EP2. Since that time Siete Catorce has released his 2015 EP Paisajes via Enchufada, played festivals and events in Mexico like MUTEK, Festival Nrmal, and Boiler Room, while also performing abroad in cities like Lima, Bogota, Berlin, and Stockholm.

“Susurro” is our first listen in on Agnosia, and it’s probably the EP’s most aphotic. While the upcoming release is definitely laced throughout with dark tension, it also displays moments of the producer’s wry humor combined with his kinetic beat work. From its’ opening moments, though, “Susurro” is an angst-filled track thick enough to cut with a knife, and while its’ dub-step meets cumbia rhythms are sure to eventually move feet and body, they also represent some of Agnosia‘s most abstract. Spending its first minute in a sort of suspended state of dread filled ambiance, suffused with a barely audible undercurrent of whispers–as the track’s title would suggest–when Siete Catorce finally drops the beat here it’s a dazzling array of syncopated complexity coupled with detonating bass wabble.
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Montreal-based musician and photographer Tess Roby is readying the release of her album Beacon due out on April 20th via Italians Do It Better. Inspired by The Beacon, a monument standing atop Ashurst Hill in Dalton, Lancashire where it was established in 1798 as a watchtower against French invasion during the Napoleonic War, the musician’s debut release is also a tribute to her father who passed away several years back. Created in collaboration with her brother, Roby began working on the album back in 2015 using drum machines and synthesizers she found in her father’s recording studio. Having traveled often to The Beacon with her family, she explains:

“Throughout my life I have felt the pull to return to it. I’m beckoned by father’s roots and by the sullen landscape of fields leading to the coast.”

Tess Roby has also announced a string of live dates this coming Spring and Summer–including some shows in support of Carla Dal Forno. Look for Roby to play Moogfest in North Carolina this coming May, as well as a performance at Elsewhere in Brooklyn as part of the Northside Festival in June. Below, you can check out her recent video for the track “Catalyst,” off the upcoming LP, as well as a list of her 2018 live dates.
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“Sisters” is our first listen in on Prairie‘s upcoming LP After the Flash Flood, due out April 27th via the German label Denovali. The project is helmed by the Belgian-based multi-instrumentalist Marc Jacobs, and his cinematic soundscapes combine Doom’s punishing minimalism with formidable elements of electronic ambiance. Utilizing guitar, field recordings, drum programing and synthesizer, Prairie’s After the Flash Flood imagines a post-apocalyptic world without humans.

Jacobs’ massive soundscapes seem to mimic large-scale natural events like the slow melting of ice floes and giant glaciers breaking free. “Sisters” employs that frigid quality as it opens with the monumental creaking of a giant ice structure eventually giving way to a flow of freezing water. Soon this sonic vantage seems to ascend upward to take in a larger panorama with water and air joining together in a giant wash of sound. Not long after, though, this ambiance is subjected to channel changing blasts of tone that seem designed to disturb any sense of easy listening, while ice blue waters gnash below. The track’s final minute or so is spent eerily drifting through decaying layers and pulses of white noise, with ghostly echoes almost sounding like the murmur of vanished human voices.
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