Thursday, May 26, 2011

Beige - Folds + Silver Writing + In Kind AUDIO

Credit: Natasha Ryan via Stereogum

Spookrijder is a sucker for psychedelic music, this is no secret, and when there's a new good band coming around, it's eargasm. Please check out Brooklyn trio Beige, not yet signed, but it won't last long, and their moody sonic soundscapes with sometimes some Krautrock 'motorik' and mostly hazy floating layers of keys, guitars and heavy drum beats. It's all very slow and crawling around your ears. Please spook three tracks down there. You can find these ones and some more on their MySpace page.


Silver Writing

In Kind

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Antlers - Burst Apart (2011) REVIEW

2009 was one of my life most fucked up years, another one was 2002, the first one was undoubtedly 1967. Nevermind both latter years. In 2009, even music was almost completely non-existent in my life. That godforsaken year, I was feeling lower than a dog, filthier than scum, I just wanted to cut myself deep to feel physical instead of mental pain, and eventually watch myself bleed to see if I was still alive. Needless to say, I was not feeling very well. August 18th, 2009, The Antlers issued "Hospice" and I was lucky enough to stumble upon it : I had found my bedside record. That album offered me some punctual and welcome relief. Part of its efficiency lay in the incredible sadness pouring out of this album, but I believe the main part of its soothing effect on my tormented stupidity was in its artistic and aesthetic beauty, besides the high-pitched electronic noise which had the odd effect of cleansing my overcharged brainy(banana)waves. In some way, the eventual spookie reader can already understand that The Antlers are rather special to me, at least that particular album.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues (2011) REVIEW

"Helplessness Blues" is Fleet Foxes' second album and it will launch the band in orbit for many years to come, this is Spookrijder's prophecy. There is nothing divinatory in that statement, history is repeating, you just need to know some bits and pieces of it and assemble them together to form some kinda map. Fleet Foxes self-titled and in all the meanings of the word successful debut album has already elevated the band at the summit of independent music in 2008, "Helplessness Blues" being its extension and its formal improvement, it's more than logical it will touch a wider audience and... cross over to the big one. Think about Coldplay's first album "Parachutes" in 2000 followed two years later by "A Rush of Blood to the Head" or take another, and older, example, Dire Straits' self-titled debut album in 1978 followed a year later by "Communiqué" : keep the formula, polish the edges and develop it further. Said like that, it seems easy, actually, I don't know, for Fleet Foxes' frontman Robin Pecknold, it wasn't.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Other Lives - Tamer Animals ALBUM STREAMING

American indie folk/rock Other Lives will see their forthcoming album entitled "Tamer Animals" released May 27th via TBD Records/PIAS. Actually, this will be their third record, their very first album "Flight of the Flynns" in 2006 was released under the name Kunek. Whatever. I listened to "Tamer Animals" once and I'm pretty enthralled by it : the songs, the arrangement, the production, the very lush acoustic orchestration, very evocative and cinematic, big skies spaghetti western , heroism and melancholy, an epic record.

The album is streaming down here, be my spook.

Tamer Animals by Other Lives

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Sea Oleena - Sleeplessness ALBUM STREAMING

Sea Oleena is Canadian Charlotte Loseth and "Sleeplessness" is her third EP after "Smudges" and a self-titled one, both issued last year. The vocals are somewhat close to a dreamier less sullen girly Swedish Stina Nordenstam but the musical accompaniment is harder to pinpoint : ethereal dream folk which sounds like hearing some girl singing in a half awake, half asleep state of consciousness. Besides the very nice songs, the sound mix done by Charlotte's brother Luke aka Felix Green serves the atmosphere of each song perfectly, with found sounds, field recordings and other unfathomable sources.

Take a listen to this last EP down here, the album is available for download on a name your price basis on Bandcamp. Both previous EPs can be streamed and bought over there too.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Contemporary Noise Sextet - Ghostwriter's Joke AUDIO

Some contemporary jazz from Poland, yes folks! Poland is not too often put on the world map of jazz despite at least two extraordinary composers and instrumentalists : the late pianist Krzysztof Komeda and trumpeter Tomasz Stańko. Krzysztof Komeda (1931-1969) was a film music composer for some of the most legendary Roman Polanski's movies ("Rosemary’s Baby", "The Fearless Vampire Killers", "Knife in the Water" and "Cul-de-sac") but also responsible for one of the finest modern jazz masterpieces ever created in Europe and elsewhere with the album "Astigmatic" in 1966, a record that can easily be filed alongside Eric Dolphy's "Out to Lunch" or Andrew Hill's "Point of Departure", both from 1964. Tomasz Stańko is still very alive and kicking, and he is on the above mentioned "Astigmatic", but fortunately he went on further and he has recorded, he's still recording, among the finest jazz stuff around with legendary world class players like Jack DeJohnette, Dave Holland, Reggie Workman, Tony Oxley and Cecil Taylor as well as young Polish musicians. He is also one of the main artists on the successful jazz label ECM. Another great musician to add here, he also played on "Astigmatic" by the way, is sax player Zbigniew Namysłowski.

Contemporary Noise Sextet has released their already fifth album "Ghostwriter's Joke" (is it a reference to Roman Polanski's last movie "The Ghost Writer"?) some weeks ago via Electric Eye. This is more contemporary jazz than noise but the sextet is surely not devoid of energy. The sound is at time rough, very much like a jazz band should sound, this is played live in the studio. Great musicianship, excellent solos and there are moments these guys get close, sonically more than structurally, to John Lurie's so-called fake-jazz ensemble The Lounge Lizards, indeed Contemporary Noise Sextet's delivery is not that far from punk-rock or even hardcore (the drummer Bartek Kapsa was a member of locally famous hardcore band Something Like Elvis), maybe that's where the concept of noise comes from. Take a listen to three tracks down there.

Kuba Kapsa - piano
Wojtek Jachna - trumpet
Tomek Glazik - tenor saxophone
Kamil Pater - guitar
Patryk Weclawek - bass
Bartek Kapsa - drums

Monday, May 2, 2011

Crystal Stilts - In Love With Oblivion (2011) REVIEW

"In Love With Oblivion" is Brooklyn quintet Crystal Stilts' second full-length and it's a gem. Their first LP "Alight of Night" in 2008 was already very promising but somewhat a little too claustrophobic and slightly unfinished, although all the ingredients that make Crystal Stilts a band to put aside from that huge wave of psych-garage rock bands with fuzzy guitars and keys, deadpan vocals and simple rocking to-the-face rhythm section were already there. Crystal Stilts made a difference through the focus, tightness, cohesiveness and great talent for hooks in their ensemble playing, the arrangement, the songwriting and the melodies. This sophomore record is no departure from their multi-influenced hazy rock'n roll aesthetics, they just refined their work, added more texture, deepened and expansed the sound mixing, enriched their melodies. A little earlier, the word "arrangement" was mentioned and what really set Crystal Stilts apart from other so-called garage bands, and even from many other rock combos, holds in the careful juxtaposition and organization of all the instruments in the sound spectrum. That this album still retains all the spontaneity and dirtiness of a rock'n roll band actually rehearsing in a garage is all the more a tour-de-force. "In Love With Oblivion" is one of the only dirty fuzzy hazy psych-garage rock albums which you can greatly enjoy listening to with headphones. All the instruments are at the same time pretty clear in the mix, except for the voice which is the most loaded with reverbs and seems to appear out of nowhere, or out of your own subconscious, the instruments are also stuck together like atoms to form one tight molecule that is Crystal Stilts. Contrary to many other relatively similar bands whose very laidback interplaying make them look like they don't really care, Crystal Stilts clearly cares, the only other example that comes to mind which shares a similar approach, careful, cohesive and spontaneous in short, is Canadian band Women and their last year luminous album "Public Strain", another multi-influenced band with a strong personality, but with very different but effective results.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

16 Mini Reviews for April 2011

King Creosote & Jon Hopkins, Hauschka, Timber Timbre, Moon Duo,
Cass McCombs, Zita Swoon Group, Big K.R.I.T., Paul Simon,
Dengue Fever, Dirty Beaches, Bill Callahan, The Weeknd,
A Lull, Low, Tim Hecker and Hoquets