Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Genre Research Project 70/1361: Horror Synth

Horror synth is a music genre that originated in horror film scores from the 1970s and 80s, such as those composed by John Carpenter and Goblin. These synthesizer-heavy scores utilized sharp, abrasive electronic sounds as well as eerie, haunting synth pads to create atmospheres that accentuated the dark, unnerving, violent or ghostly themes of their films.

Using modern computer technology as well as classic synthesizers, contemporary horror synth artists are influenced by and draw their inspiration from John Carpenter, Goblin and other composers of 70s and 80s horror synth film scores. These contemporary horror synth artists (such as GosT, Zombi, Défago, Tommy Creep, Umberto and Werewolves in Siberia) create music that retains the dark mood, atmosphere and cinematic style of the early horror synth composers but many also incorporate faster, highly danceable tempos into their compositions.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Genre Research Project 69/1361: Reggae

Reggae is a music genre that originated in Jamaica in the late 1960s. While sometimes used in a broad sense to refer to most types of popular Jamaican dance music, the term reggae more properly denotes a particular music style that was strongly influenced by traditional mento and calypso music, as well as American jazz and rhythm and blues, and the evolved out of the earlier genres ska and rocksteady.

Stylistically, reggae incorporates some of the musical elements of rhythm and blues, jazz, mento, calypso , African, and Latin American music, as well as other genres. One of the most easily recognizable elements is offbeat rhythms; staccato chords played by a guitar or piano (or both) on the offbeats of the measure. The tempo of reggae is usually slower than ska and rocksteady. The concept of "call and response" can be found throughout reggae music.

The bass guitar often plays the dominant role in reggae. The bass sound in reggae is thick and heavy, and equalized so the upper frequencies are removed and the lower frequencies emphasized. The guitar in reggae usually plays on the off beat of the rhythm. It is common for reggae to be sung in Jamaican Patois, Jamaican English, and Iyaric dialects. Reggae is noted for its tradition of social criticism in its lyrics, although many reggae songs discuss lighter, more personal subjects, such as love and socializing.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

And with a spectral breath I'm begging to be freed

Pallbearer - "The Ghost I Used to Be" (Foundations Of Burden)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Genre Research Project 68/1361: Progressive Psytrance

Progressive psytrance (also referred to as minimal psytrance, psyprog, or simply prog or ‘minimal) is a style of psychedelic electronica developed in the early 2000s, developed as a sub-genre of psychedelic and Goa trance. Progressive psytrance combines the elements of minimal sounding progressive electronic music and complex developments of psychedelic music. Its heritage can be traced back to the developments of minimal techno, tech, and minimal house. The style of progressive psytrance can be described as generally darker and edgier than mainstream trance. It is also slower in tempo and is more progressive than melodic psytrance. Currently, Denmark, Sweden, and Germany have created the most renowned minimalist labels. In the last couple of years Australia has added its own artists and labels to the minimalist trance scene.

I'm your sweet little lovemaker

FKA Twigs - "Pendulum" (LP1)

Boner Jams '14

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Playlist for 9-18-14 (Possible Scottish Independence Edition)

Hey folks,

So Thursday, during my radio show, Scotland was counting the ballots from their vote to determine if they'd become their own independent country or not. In the spirit of this possibly historic event, I decided to play at least one Scottish band per block on my radio show. And while Scotland may have opted to remain part of the UK, we'll always have the three hour radio show where I could play Arab Strap without feeling like I was being unfairly dour.

Things that Are Square 9-18-14 (Possible Scottish independence edition)

(*) = New release

Belle and Sebastian - We Rule the School - Tigermilk

Camera Obscura - I Need All the Friends I Can Get - Let's Get Out of This Country
Daniel Johnston - Go - The Late Great Daniel Johntston
R.L. Kelly - Woke Up Feeling Sad - Life's a Bummer
(*) Karen O - Visits - Crush Songs

The Just Joans - Some Boys Are Bigger Than Others - 6.9 Love Songs
All Dogs - Farm - Slouch/All Dogs Split
Best Friends Forever - Ghost Song - Romance Conflict Adventure
Andrew Jackson Jihad - Survival - Candy Cigarettes, Capguns, Issue Problems and Such

Momus - "Nicky" - Circus Maximus
Palace Music - New Partner - Viva Last Blues
John Moreland - Nobody Gives a Damn About Songs Anymore - In the Throes
Birdcloud - Do What I Want - Birdcloud

(*) Shellac - Compliant - Dude Incredible
Jawbreaker - Accident Prone - Dear You
Fugazi - Merchandise - Repeater + 3 Songs
The Vaselines - Lovecraft - The Way of the Vaselines

(*) Death From Above 1979 - Cheap Talk - The Physical World
The Muslims - Walking With Jesus - Parasites/Walking With Jesus 7"
The Jesus and Mary Chain - My Little Underground - Psychocandy
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Young Adult Friction - The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

Mogwai - You Don't Know Jesus - Rock Action
Low - Dinosaur Act - Things We Lost in the Fire
Spiritualized - Broken Heart - Ladies and Gentleman We Are Floating in Space
White Rainbow - Gilded Golden Ladies - Zome

Arab Strap - The Long Sea - The Red Thread
The Haxan Cloak - Excavation (Part 1) - Excavation
Matmos - You (RRose Mix) - The Ganzfeld EP
Wobbly - Flee You - Project Bicycle

(*) Aphex Twin - minipops 67 [120.2][source field mix] - Syro
Balam Acab - Oh, Why - Wander/Wonder
Boards of Canada - Telephasic Workshop - Music Has the Right to Children
(*) Jabu - Limosine - Kwaidan

(*) Rustie - A Glimpse - Green Language
Unicorn Kid - Boys of Paradise - Tidal Rave EP
(*) jj - Full - V

(*) Shabazz Palaces - #Cake - Lese Majesty

Friday, September 19, 2014

Genre Research Project 67/1361: English Folk Music

Folk music of England refers to various types of traditionally based music, often contrasted with courtly, classical and later commercial music, for which evidence exists from the later medieval period. It has been preserved and transmitted orally, through print and later through recordings. The term is used to refer to English traditional music and music composed, or delivered, in a traditional style. English folk music has produced or contributed to several important musical genres, including sea shanties, jigs, hornpipes and dance music, such as that used for Morris dancing. It can be seen as having distinct regional and local variations in content and style, particularly in areas more removed from the cultural and political centres of the English state, as in Northumbria, or the West Country. Cultural interchange and processes of migration mean that English folk music, although in many ways distinctive, has particularly interacted with the music of Scotland, Ireland and Wales. It has also interacted with other musical traditions, particularly classical and rock music, influencing musical styles and producing musical fusions, such as electric folk, folk punk and folk metal. There remains a flourishing sub-culture of English folk music, which continues to influence other genres and occasionally to gain mainstream attention

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Playlist for 9-11-14

Hey guys! I finally got around to posting the playlist! I'm a monster!

Things that Are Square 9-11-14

(*) = New release

Jonathan Richman - That Summer Feeling - I, Jonathan

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Into My Arms - The Boatman's Call
Neko Case - Deep Red Bells - Blacklisted
Bill Callahan - Drover - Apocalypse
Human Behavior - Crag - Golgotha

(*) Karen O - Ooo - Crush Songs
Mirah - Monument - Advisory Committee
The Mountain Goats & Kaki King - Black Pear Tree - Black Pear Tree
Jens Lekman - You Can Call Me Al - Unreleased

The Halo Benders - Virginia Reel Around the Fountain - The Rebel's Not In
Red House Painters - Katy Song - Red House Painters
Jackie-O Motherfucker - Nice One - Flags of the Sacred Harp

Earth - Omens and Portents I: The Driver - The Bees Made Honey In the Lion's Skull
Jesu - Silver - Silver
A Silver Mt. Zion - The Triumph of Our Tired Eyes - Born Into Trouble As the Sparks Fly Upward

(*) Emperor X - Fierce Resource Allocation - The Orlando Sentinel
Martha - Bubble In My Bloodstream - Courting Strong
The Vandals - I Have a Date - Live Fast Diarrhea
(*) Joyce Manor - Heart Tattoo - Never Hungover Again

(*) Death From Above 1979 - Trainwreck 1979 - The Physical World
Unstoppable Death Machines - Life Is a Lot Like Kindergarten - We Come In Peace
(*) OOIOO - Shizuku Gunung Agung - Gamel

Snap Judgement - Gloomy Sunday - Blackout
Venetian Snares - Öngyilkos Vasárnap - Rossz Csillag Alatt Született

(*) QT - Hey QT - Hey QT
Grimes - Oblivion - Visions
Boom Bip - Last Walk Around Mirror Lake (Boards of Canada Remix) - Corymb
(*) The Bug - Void (Featuring Liz Harris) - Angels & Devils

(*) Zammuto - Good Graces - Anchor
Jónsi - Grow Till Tall - Go
Monolake - Hitting the Surface - Ghosts

(*) FKA Twigs - Pendulum - LP1

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I hate my mind and I'm stuck here in it

R.L. Kelly - "Familiar Haunt" (Life's a Bummer)

It's always nice to hear a song that really nails the experience of being depressed because it's good to know you're not alone. Right?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Hey QT

QT - "Hey QT" (Hey QT)

Apparently "bubblegum bass" is a genre, and apparently I'm into it.

Genre Research Project 66/1360: Garage rock

Garage rock is a raw form of rock and roll that was first popular in the United States and Canada from about 1963 to 1967. Its name derives from the perception that many often rehearsed in a family garage.

The style was characterised by lyrics and delivery that were more aggressive and unsophisticated than in commercial pop music at the time, often, for instance, using guitars distorted through a fuzzbox. It began to evolve from regional scenes as early as 1958, heavily influenced by surf rock. The "British Invasion" of 1964-66 greatly influenced garage bands, providing them with a national audience. Thousands of garage bands were extant in the USA and Canada during the era; hundreds produced regional hits, and a handful had national chart hits. By 1968 the style largely disappeared from the national charts. It was also disappearing at the local level as amateur musicians faced college, work or the draft. During the 1960s, it was not recognized as a separate music genre and had no specific name.

In the early 1970s, some critics referred to the style as punk rock, the first form of music to bear this description; although it is sometimes called garage punk, protopunk, or 1960s punk, the style has predominantly been referred to as garage rock.

The term garage rock comes from the perception that many such performers were young and amateurish, and often rehearsed in a family garage. Some bands were made up of middle-class teenagers from the suburbs, but some were from rural or urban areas, while others were composed of professional musicians in their twenties.

The performances were often amateurish, naïve or intentionally raw, with typical themes revolving around the traumas of high school life and songs about "lying girls" being particularly common. The lyrics and delivery were notably more aggressive than was common at the time, often with growled or shouted vocals that dissolved into incoherent screaming. Instrumentation was often characterised by the use of guitars distorted through a fuzzbox. Nevertheless, garage rock acts were diverse in both musical ability and in style, ranging from crude one-chord music (like the Seeds and the Keggs) to near-studio musician quality (including the Knickerbockers, the Remains, and the Fifth Estate). There were also regional variations in many parts of America with flourishing scenes particularly in California, offering bands such as Strawberry Alarm Clock, The Electric Prunes, Dino, Desi & Billy, The Standells, and Texas, offering bands such as Sir Douglas Quintet, The 13th Floor Elevators, Sam the Sham (Wooly Bully never made #1 despite being on the Billboard Hot 100 for almost four and a half months in 1965), and Fever Tree. The Northwest states of Idaho, Washington and Oregon had perhaps the most defined regional sound with bands such as The Bootmen, The Sonics and Paul Revere & the Raiders.

It's never going away

Joyce Manor - "Heart Tattoo" (Never Hungover Again)

I am Facebook friends with Barry from this band, and I'm going to his GF's birthday party in a couple weeks. He and I aren't super close so it's unlikely that this song was written with me in mind, but it's fun to think about.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Genre Research Project 65/1360: Breakcore

Breakcore or noisecore is a style of electronic dance music largely influenced by hardcore, jungle, digital hardcore and industrial music that is characterized by its use of heavy kick drums, breaks and a wide palette of sampling sources, played at high tempos.

The most defining characteristic of breakcore is the drum work, which is often based on the manipulation of the Amen break and other classic jungle and hip-hop breaks, at high BPM. The techniques applied to achieve this differs from musician to musician, some preferring to cut up and rearrange the breaks, while others merely distort and loop breaks or apply various effects such as delay and chorus to alter the break's timbre.

Melodically, there is nothing that defines breakcore. Classic rave sounds such as Acid bass lines, Hoovers and Reese bass are common, but breakcore is mostly known for sampling sounds from all over the musical spectrum to accommodate the frantic and fast paced nature of the rhythm section. Around the turn of the century, more and more breakcore musicians began employing traditional synthesis techniques to compose elaborate melodies and harmonies. There are a growing number of musicians who make use of recorded live instrumentation in their music, such as Istari Lasterfahrer, Hecate, Benn Jordan, Qüatros and Venetian Snares.

According to Simon Reynolds of The New York Times, breakcore is "purveyed by artists like DJ/Rupture and Teamshadetek, the music combines rumbling bass lines, fidgety beats and grainy ragga vocals to create a home-listening surrogate for the bashment vibe of a Jamaican sound system party. Others within the breakcore genre, like Knifehandchop, Kid 606 and Soundmurderer, hark back to rave's own early days, their music evoking the rowdy fervor of a time when huge crowds flailed their limbs to a barrage of abstract noise and convulsive rhythm. It's a poignant aural mirage of a time when techno music was made for the popular vanguard rather than a connoisseurial elite, as it is today."

One of the most controversial issues in breakcore is that of the mere existence of the genre. Because it pulls liberally from other musical genres, there is not a consensus on what is and what is not breakcore, or even over the usefulness of the term itself.

Cool and controlled to die young

Emperor X - "Fierce Resource Allocation" (The Orlando Sentinel)

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Genre Research Project 64/1360: Lounge

Lounge music is a type of easy listening music popular in the 1950s and 1960s. It may be meant to evoke in the listeners the feeling of being in a place, usually with a tranquil theme, such as a jungle, an island paradise or outer space. The range of lounge music encompasses beautiful music-influenced instrumentals, modern electronica (with chillout, and downtempo influences), while remaining thematically focused on its retro-space-age cultural elements. The earliest type lounge music appeared during the 1920s and 1930s, and was known as light music. Contemporaneously, the term lounge music may also be used to describe the types of music played in hotels (the lounge, the bar), casinos, and piano bars.

Playlist for 9-4-14

See? I'm already doing better.

Things that Are Square 9-4-14

(*) = New release

Blackalicious - Chemical Calisthenics (Featuring Cut Chemist) - Blazing Arrow

(*) Shabazz Palaces - #CAKE - Lese Majesty
Deltron 3030 - Mastermind - Deltron 3030
Dr. Octagon - Earth People - Dr. Octagonecologyst
Dälek - Asylum (Permanent Underclass) - Absence

(*) The Soft Pink Truth - Black Metal - Why Do the Heathen Rage?
Sunn O))) & Boris - The Sinking Belle (Blue Sheep) - Altar
Earth - Rise to Glory - The Bees Made Honey in the Lion's Skull

(*) Trap Them - Habitland - Blissfucker
(*) YOB - In Our Blood - Clearing the Path to Ascend

Drive Like Jehu - Here Come the Rome Plows - Yank Crime
Tera Melos - Hey Sandy - Idioms Vol. I
Thee Oh Sees - The Dream - Carrion Crawler/The Dream EP
Liars - We Fenced Other Gardens with the Bones of Our Own - They Were Wrong So We Drowned

American Football - Never Meant - American Football
(*) Whirr - Heavy - Sway (For Melissa in Orange, CA)
Parenthetical Girls - Handsome Devil - Xiu Xiu/Parenthetical Girls Split 7"
Superchunk - Like a Fool - Foolish

The Specials - Maggie's Farm - Singles Collection
This Bike Is a Pipe Bomb - This Is What I Want - Front Seat Solidarity
Pwrfl Power - Let's Play Drums - Electrified Fruits
Frankie Cosmos - Buses Splash With Rain - Zentropy

Vera November - Our Last Night Together - Four Songs By Arthur Russell (For Diana in Los Angeles, CA)
The Field Mice - Star of David - For Keeps
Cyann & Ben - In Church - Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts
The-Drum - Sim Stem A - Contact

(*) jj - All White Everything - V
(*) FKA Twigs - Give Up - LP1
(*) The Bug - Ascension - Angels & Devils
(*) Zammuto - Great Equator - Anchor

Demdike Stare - Eulogy - Test Pressing #003
Container - Glaze - Adhesive

Playlist for 8-28-14

You guys. I'm really fucking up on this playlist posting lately. My bad.

Things that Are Square 8-28-14

(*) = New release

Dent May - When You Were Mine - The Touch of Velvet

Birdcloud - Do What I Want - Birdcloud
Silver Jews - Slow Education - Bright Flight
The Six Parts Seven - Fuck Everything - Daytrotter Session
Rosie Thomas - Wedding Day - When We Were Small

Reigning Sound - You're Not As Pretty - Time Bomb High School
Billy Bragg - A New England - Life's a Riot with Spy vs Spy
Tullycraft - The Punks Are Writing Love Songs - Every Scene Needs a Center
Allo Darlin' - Dear Stephen Hawking - Henry Rollins Don't Dance

Ed Schrader's Music Beat - Pantomime Jack - Party Jail
Swans - Screen Shot - To Be Kind
Can - Paperhouse - Tago Mago

Arab Strap - Soaps - Philophobia
Spacemen 3 - So Hot (Wash Away All Of My Tears) - Playing with Fire
Paul F. Tompkins - King Hat - Laboring Under Delusions

Fisher-Price - Robinson Crusoe - Fisher-Price Classics and Tapes

Owen Pallett - I Am Not Afraid - In Conflict
Soul Coughing - Sugar Free Jazz - Ruby Vroom
Skull Tape - Anon Anon - The Invisible Hand and the Descent of Man
Martha - So Sad (So Sad) - Courting Strong

Halcali - おつかれSUMMER - Halcali Bacon
James Figurine - All the Way to China - Mistake Mistake Mistake Mistake
Balam Acab - Oh, Why - Wander/Wonder
(*) The Bug - Void (Featuring Liz Harris) - Angels & Devils

(*) FKA Twigs - Hours - LP1
(*) jj - Dean & Me - V

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Omens and portents

Earth - "Omens and Portents I: The Driver" (The Bees Made Honey In The Lion's Skull)

Friday, September 5, 2014

Genre Research Project 63/1360: Techno Kayo

Techno Kayo is a style of Kayōkyoku (a style of Japanese popular music prominent in the mid 1950s to the late 1980s and takes influences from both Japanese and Western music) which features slick, electronic productions made for Japanese "idol" singers. Many Techno Kayo songs were produced by members of Yellow Magic Orchestra and Moonriders.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

But I know that shit happens

Jabu - "Chamber" (Kwaidan)

Well what the fuck are we supposed to do, man?

Graf Orlock - "Game Time" (Destination Time Tomorrow)