Tag Archives: Electronic

Review: Walltapper – Monaco

Walltapper - Monaco cover

Here is the one outstanding thing about Walltapper’s Monaco – the first track genuinely sounds joyous.

I think I’ve just taken one too many trips to the murky under/dreamworld when listening electronic music lately. That stuff is well and good and I enjoy it plenty but I’ve also no real desire to live my life solely in a symbolist painting or German expressionist film.

Listening to Monaco really is, for me, the equivalent of getting outside and doing something in the sun. It just feels good. It’s uplifting without being trite. What the secret is, is the attachment to the human element. This isn’t experimental electronic, it’s more of the electronic jazz, like what Wagon Christ in some respects. It’s the grounding in the human element, voice samples, piano, horn, that give Monaco it’s sunny qualities. Although it’s downright silly at times, Monaco has this near-constant 60s jazz vibe running throughout. I always like that kind of thing, because it reminds me there was an era before cynicism crushed every non-cynical response to anything out of everyone.

This is honestly something I feel we all need more of in our lives.

- Jayson

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Review:Tours- Stay

Tours-Stay EP
Tours-Stay EP. Bobby Cahn Records, 2011.

You may remember me going on about TUMBLEwoof, the mash-up producer behind the brillians Phoenix & Lil Wayne EP. Well, Dylan Sieh, the man behind TUMBLEwoof, is back with a new project: Tours.

Tours’ EP, Stay is a dreamy little electronic album. That’s really the best adjective for it: dreamy. You’re not going to get up and dance to this stuff, but you might sway in your seat with your eyes half open. And that’s not to say that Stay is boring because it’s not at all. There are layers of sound washing in and out like the tide. For electronic music, it has a real warmth, a natural rhythm that’s soothing rather than jarring.

What I think is most striking is that on my first listen, I could hear that this was TUMBLEwoof. Even though Phoenix & Lil Wayne was a derived work made from the music of others, this sounds like it was made by the same guy. Considering he’s putting this stuff together presumably on his home computer, that’s impressive.

Stay is available on Tours’ Bandcamp page for a dollar (or more if you really like it).

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Review: Collapse Under The Empire – The Sirens Sound

Post-rock is by now a well established genre with well defined conventions. There are more bands doing it and as happens with everything, the sound becomes somewhat codified. Not something I’ve had a problem with, but having said that, it’s very welcome to hear something innovative.

Collapse Under the Empire you’ve heard if you downloaded the Gone In 60 Seconds compilation from I Heart Noise. If you missed that one, CUTE are a German duo that combine post-rock with electronic. On the post rock front, they’re covering all the bases that define the best bands of the genre; a strong sense of narrative, moments of quiet, moments of fury, and on. What sets CUTE apart is the electronic element. Standing in contrast to the analog instrumental bits the electronics have a  sound ranging from an eerie, bleak quality reminiscent of the soundtracks from John Carpenter movies to more dynamic sounds. The interplay between the electronic and analog makes for a really engaging listen. Don’t pass on this album.

Told you so.

CUTE MySpace

CUTE Official site

The Sirens Sound and other CUTE albums are available here.

- Jayson

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The music of design.

Since I nominally do design & commercial art for a job, I also read a lot of design blogs.

Two of the ones I read the most are the ISO50 and Hydro74 blogs.

ISO50 is one of my design heroes, basically everything he does and everything he likes is so solid you could use it to survive in space. He’s carrying the torch of Moderism in this dumb, post-modern age. He’s also a musician himself. He does classic ambient-electronic as Tycho. It reminds me of a more stripped down boards of Canada and is totally worthwhile. He also posts playlists of what he’s currently listening to and posts a lot of downloadable mixes on his main blog.

Hydro74 is more of an illustrator, but he does font design and a lot of design for clothing. He was a big inspiration for me when I was doing the same kind of work. He is the world’s foremost illustrator of skulls in my eyes. His fonts are also hell of good, really great custom typography. Turns out the dude is pretty handy with a mix. He’s just posted one of some of his favorite tracks.

Whether or not you get into these is really going to depend on how down you are with the sounds of electronic, ambient, idm, dubstep, and party remixes. If that is your thing I’d say go immediately and check out some music, if not, I’d say go immediately and check out some art and design.

This is pretty interesting for me, because like a lot of people I’ve thought about making music at points on and off in my life, but am mostly to busy or broke to get into it. As a cultural thing, music and art go hand in hand for me. One of the reasons I still like to buy CDs and records is to check out the art and design that go into the packaging. It’s very cool to see some folks out there making both.

If anyone knows any other good artists or designers who are also taking an active hand in music, send us note.

-Jayson

Totally forgot about Sgt. D from Stuff You Will Hate. A mixtape of scene music up today. He designs for Hella Mass Tight. I seriously cannot recommend listening to this music at all. However the man’s work is totally solid and props must be given.

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