Battles | ‘Dross Glop 1’
Today, Battles announced the first installment of their four-part 12” remix series Dross Glop, due out on February 6. Featuring stellar remixes from Gui Boratto and The Field, Dross Glop 1 sets the bar high, and given that no announcements have yet been made regarding who might yet be on the roster for the remaining three releases, it’s pretty fair to expect some surprises. You can preview both tracks below, and find out more about the series itself here. In the meantime, the folks with Bleep are already doing preorders, and you can even subscribe to the entire series there.
Future Islands | ‘On The Water’
If there’s one thing that’s always deeply satisfying to stumble across, it’s the fabled sleeper album; the one that slips past listener radar and across the reviews without perking up ears attuned to seeking that which deserves second and third listens, landing in your lap like it was gold wrapped in tinfoil. Open the wrapper, and you’ll see that what you’ve got is precious, but often that process itself can be time consuming, at best.
This is where we find the latest release from Future Islands, titled On The Water (Thrill Jockey). It’s one of the few truly solid indie rock albums to come out this year (Destroyer’s Kaputt and PJ Harvey’s Let England Shake being the two best examples of this year’s output thus far), and yet somehow, despite decent reviews across the board, failed to make any substantial waves. Perhaps this is due to the fact that their sound seems to fall into the greater realm of music derivative of 80’s post-punk and no wave that lately has been growing exponentially in quantity—though this album is far better in its approach, it’s easy to imagine how easily it might get lost in the din of similar imitators. The thing is, Future Islands appear to have nailed a deeply satisfying-to-hear subtlety to their composition structure that doesn’t beat you over the head, but sounds refreshing in its authenticity and unpretentiousness. Style-wise—since this is most definitely derivative in style—these guys sound like The The meets Roxy Music meets New Order (those basslines are especially reminiscent of Peter Hook’s unmistakeable style), and they toe the line between past and present like champs. In other words, if you spent a great deal of your youth listening to Morrissey, or you like Destroyer, the Radio Dept., or Metronomy, this is definitely an album worth grabbing.
You can purchase (and hear) the album over at Thrill Jockey, or check out the samples below of the stunning The The throwback “Before the Bridge” (think “This Is The Day”) and the happy-go-lucky “Balance” (which sounds too similar to Rod Stewart’s lone synth pop hit “Young Turks” not to be mentioned).
Mix of the Moment: Objekt | Leisure System Radio Mix
Mystery producer of the moment TJ Hertz, aka Objekt, brings us a promo mix in advance of his scheduled performance for Leisure System at Berghain on September 16 (and by the way, that lineup looks ridiculous). In keeping with the vagueness of his persona, he states at the very beginning of the recording, “Here’s some music I won’t be playing,” and for what you can expect not to hear, it’s definitely quite the gamut of listening, ranging from Jaco Pastorius to Emptyset to Rhythm & Sound and even some Radiohead. You can listen to the mix in its entirety below, or you can download it here.
The latest single from Apparat, whose new album, The Devil’s Walk, is due out September 26th on Mute, is quite the stunner. Titled “Black Water”, the song finds the Berliner leaning toward far more indie-inspired territory than ever before, and to very beautiful effect. You can pre-order his album now via Amazon.
Stream the New Memory Tapes on the Quietus
Today’s good get goes to the folks at The Quietus, who’ve managed to snag us all a streaming preview of Player Piano, the new album by Memory Tapes, due out on July 4/5. After all the doom and gloom that comprised the vast majority of releases from late Spring, this is one hell of a pick-me-up, and for Memory Tapes in particular, it’s been a long time coming. The release of 2009’s Seek Magic fell largely on deaf ears, buried like many other deconstructed-sounding indierock albums under the never-ending din of praise for Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavillion. Looking back now, such an oversight was perhaps a boon to Tape’s Dayve Hawk; what little press he received was overwhelmingly positive, but there was ultimately very little pressure on him to step into the foreground. Now here we are two years later, however, with the natural evolution of Hawk’s music sounding tighter than ever, still quite deserving of all its amassed praise, and little to distract attention away from what amounts to an outstanding sophomore release. This is an album that’s pretty much built of sound in the color of Summertimes past, present, and who knows, maybe even future. Give the album a listen—and have a look at Hawk’s own guide, song-by-song—here. Also, check out the video for the album’s first single, “Yes I Know” below.
Lee Perry Remixes “Mindkilla” by Gang Gang Dance
Gang Gang Dance's most recent release on 4AD is by far their most cohesive and accessible record, which is saying quite a lot for the art-rock outfit. Their long transition has most certainly been an exciting one to witness, as at their very best, their compositions are compelling in their beauty, and when their trajectory is uncertain, it’s as if trial and error is the very glue that holds them together. Of course, if weird is the ultimate goal, the recent remix of “Mindkilla” by Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry is right on the money. The Upsetter pretty much nails it with the fury only he possesses, and to fun effect. Just make sure to check your brain at the door. Download the track here.
Free Track from Twin Shadow | “Slow”
We love Twin Shadow, from the way he turns a phrase, to his nostalgia-evoking instrumentation, to the way every song feels effortless in its construction. It’s a hard formula to beat, but perhaps some artists are made to outdo themselves once in a while, as today he’s giving away a free download of the truly beautiful song, “Slow”, as a gift for joining his email list. If you’re uncertain whether his album Forget is worth your time, this track makes an excellent introduction (and quite a Morrissey-esque one, at that); give ‘er a listen below.
In the meantime, Mr. Lewis will be making the final leg of his tour this Fall, so if you haven’t gotten a chance to see him yet, here’s your chance. Peep the info and purchase tickets for the Clean Cuts Tour here. And by the way, each ticket comes with a custom t-shirt and button, specific to each show, featuring, you guessed it, a new hairdo.