Friday, 17 July 2009

Grammar Rodeo

Seemingly out of nowhere, London's Dave I.D. has released an ace double single of dark electronic pop on new label, Off The Uncertain Button. Get your mits on it here.

Dave I.D. - 'ILikeTheSoundOfThemWithoutMe'

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Hollerin' the rinsin' sound: New Pictureplane!

Back in June 2008 we wrote about this amazing electro grime chap we’d just discovered in HEALTH’s top friends. Travis Egedy, aka Pictureplane, had self-released this ace album called Turquoise Trail, he’d remixed the likes of Crystal Castles and HEALTH and he ran a DIY art space/gig venue, which was also his home, called Rhinoceropolis in Denver, Colorado. Naturally he was our hero and we pulled him tight to our collective bosom, naming him our favourite artist of 2008.

Since then he’s toured the States in support of HEALTH, which he’s about to do again (in the U.S. and Europe), and signed to the same label, Lovepump United. His first LP release with Lovepump,
Dark Rift, is out on 4 August and showcases more of that killer amalgamation of 80s pop, 90s dance and 00s grime, shot through with complete gay abandon. I highly recommend you buy it. We caught up with a super excited Travis for a quick bit of Q&A:

Dark Rift
“I think people will enjoy it. The record has more of a 'dark' sound to it, I was listening to a lot of grime and funky while I made it.
Dark Rift is a conceptual album (is that a bad word?) about galactic alignment, and the position of our earth travelling through the centre most point of our galaxy in the next few years. Otherwise known as the galactic centre, or the DARK RIFT. I can talk for days about this stuff, but if you are interested just start googling, it’s fascinating stuff.”

Mainstream media attention
“I really try to not think to hard about that kinda thing (see Pitchfork's words). It can distract you from what is really important, which is the art. It is nice for sure, I would be lying if I said I didn’t use to daydream about shit like that. I still daydream about being in The FADER magazine. FADER, where you at??”

Touring with HEALTH
"We get along really well. I love those guys, they’re really down to earth regular bro dudes! I think the dynamic of our sound, while being totally different, really works well together in a live setting. They would call me the party starter. I was like a hype man or something before their sets, getting the kids ready to freak out. It meshed really well. I can’t wait to get out on the road with them again. Kombucha, splash.”

UK autumn visit plans
"I don't know the dates for sure yet. I have never been outside of the USA before. I am terribly excited; I know that I will fall in love with it out there. I have heard that vegetables are hard to come by out there, and that makes me nervous haha. I want to go clubbing while I am there, is that even what you call it there? Raving? DANCING! See you soon!”

Some blogs have been erroneously promoting some of Travis’ old songs, from the distortion friendly Slit Red Bird Throat LP, as new material. For shame. This is the real stuff right here...

Pictureplane – ‘Transparent now (thin veil)’.mp3 (YSI)

Pictureplane – ‘Goth star’.mp3 (YSI)

>>>Update: Pictureplane will be playing with HEALTH at the Deaf Institute on 7 October 2009.

Words: SS

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Gotta get Thru this

The good people over at BreakThru Radio, an internet radio station based in New York which focuses on independent and unsigned artists, were kind enough to nominate us as their 'Blogger Of The Week'. Yay! You can listen to an hour of New Ears music (unfortunately no local stuff) online by following these easy steps:

1. Visit
2. Click on 'Multimedia Archive'
3. Select 'DJ DoseU' and 'last 30 days' and click 'Search'
4. Click on '06/25/2009 - Anatomy of a Blogger'.

Lesser Panda - 'Carousel (Drums of Death RMX)'
Pariah - 'Detroit Falls'

Ganglians - 'Lost words'
Telepathe - 'Chrome's on it'

Vivian Girls - 'Where do you run to'
Samps - 'Magnetic thys'
Abe Vigoda - 'Don't lie'
Wavves - 'Weed demon'
Baby Venom - 'Frank'
Salem - 'Whenusleep'
Black Dice - 'Glazin'
Patten - 'Grey gold (test mix)'
Baby Venom - 'Moms and dads'

Pictureplane - 'New mind'
Samps - 'Mashed skins'
Patten - 'Version (test mix)'

Big thanks to Isaac Stonberg (aka DJ DoseU) for arranging this.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Best In Show

Mike Sniper (aka Blank Dogs) has been spending a lot of time in his bedroom this year. And I’m not about to tell a rude joke. Sniper - the misleadingly solo Brooklynite - it turns out is a musical machine of real pedigree, whose dedication to all things drum machine, analogue synth and reverb guitar has sent Blank Dogs and his side project, The Mayfair Set, leaping into New Ears’ sweaty lap.

As he freely admits to being "an avid conspiracy theory junkie" you'd be forgiven for thinking he was barking mad. But he can explain damn it, "they're pure entertainment, I don't believe any of it...I also love documentaries that freak me out”. Hence why his enchanting bicoastal collaboration with LA’s Dum Dum Girls is named after an Adam Curtis documentary series about a sinister group of capitalists in 1960's London. The Mayfair Set’s output thus far has combined Blank Dogs' dark baritone with DDG's bright, shimmering melodies to striking effect; a sound they've coined “sad prom music”.

His Blank Dogs material occupies similar ground to the L Train scene’s other leading lights, see Vivian Girls and Crystal Stilts (some of the members of which appear on the excellent recently released LP, Under and Under). Synth and guitar melodies like that of The Cure dominate, albeit filtered through a smorgasbord of grinding fuzz; it's too arresting to be inaccessible, but far too filthy to be labelled plain old pop.

I recommend you lap this up. Wow, managed to do all that without once mentioning Joy Divis...

Blank Dogs - 'No compass'.mp3 (YSI)

The Mayfair Set - 'Desert fun'.mp3 (YSI)

Words: Jake Richards

Friday, 3 July 2009

Glastonbury 2009

My favourite overheard conversation at this year's (almost too) sunny festival was, "I think I saw Annie Mac earlier, but it might have just been a girl with curly hair". I know, a real corker! If the BBC's suffocating, insipid and neverending coverage of this year's Glastonbury has not yet bored you to tears, prepare to leave base camp for that summit by the end of this post.

Sadly the festival will mostly be remembered for the death of Michael Jackson, not because there was some sort of outpouring of emotion in homage to him as the media would suggest (this article is particularly misleading), but just because it happened at all. On Thursday night people spoke of nothing else
, yet despite my frequent requests I couldn't find a single place that would play me 'Earth Song'. Apparently that's not what he'll be remembered for. Other rumours of celebrity deaths started to circulate too: Bubbles, Timmy Mallet, Jeff Goldblum and Steven Wells (sadly true). By Friday morning t-shirts emblazoned with "R.I.Paedo" were on sale and proudly worn by only the most tasteful of revellers.

Apart from the experience of trying to find some solace for a random guy in the midst of a k-black-hole by sneaking him into the Silent Disco, what will stay with me from Glastonbury 2009 are the performances of Animal Collective and Hudson Mohawke. Glasgow's Hud Mo blew everything else I saw in the Dance Village out of the water and exposed just how dated most 'dance' music sounds in comparison to his diverse instrumental electronic hip hop, even if he was given a lame afternoon set time.

There's little that can be said about Animal Collective that's not already been said, except that they're well good! Although someone may have written that before. Their, now predominantly electronic, set at The Park stage on Friday night was simply the best live show I've seen all year. The crowd were, by and large, reduced to mumbling lovesick idiots, kind of like when an aunt leans over a pram giving it the babytalk and making fart noises like they're a cute sound - but in a good way! If you haven't paid even the slightest attention to their latest LP, Merriweather Post Pavilion then you deserve tarring and feathering for being a sonic imbecile of the most deranged kind.

Most worrying this year was The Levellers lack of presence. Not even a poster in the urinals saying there's a gig in Guilford coming up. I'm concerned. Anyone have any news?

Words: SS