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Baths

Romaplasm

    The 3rd LP from Will Wiesenfelds Baths project. Less outwardly grim than the darker half of the last Baths LP, Obsidian, but twice as bitt ersweet Romaplasm reimagines approachable electronic pop songs as pieces of scaff olding that can be lived in, expanded and retracted, or torn down enti rely.

    It's going on four years since a Slugabed album, but the man's been busy - running a label, working with others, and making a two scrapped LPs' worth of cuts similar in vibe to the hyper-pop of 2014's Coolest EP - happier, forest-y, more 'plinky-plonky.'

    Which isn't to say "Inherit the Earth" is bereft of lyrics or even lighter moments. "Gold" plays like a trippy merger of Y2K pop and contemporary alt-R&B thanks, in part, to vocal and production contributions from Hairy Hands and Peter Lyons. Album ender "Earth Is Gone Sorry" is also less bleak than the name would suggest - Lum's soulful voice and the shimmering interstellar textures imply the universe may be better off without our planet making a mess of things. And for all of the slasher-flick effects of "Very Serious Puzzle" and speaker-blowing bass of "Infinite Wave," there is also the thick, glorious funk of "Time 2 Let It Go" and silly digitized brass of "Feeding Time."


    Anathallo are a seven-piece indie art-pop ensemble from Chicago. With "Canopy Glow"'s opening salvo, "Noni's Field", we are introduced straight away to the topic of death. Amongst lush pile-ups of "Pet Sounds" harmony and "Sung Tongs" texture, Anathallo's Matt Joynt and Erica Froman sing to the rafters: 'We saw the sky, swarming full with the light / that the fireflies made/An accidental constellation / You, how will you go? / Out through your mouth in a sigh? / Into a space we don't know'. It's a surprisingly beautiful rendering of life's most feared result: calm and considered, yet wide-eyed in approach, and coloured by kaleidoscopic detail.

    Alias

    Fever Dream

      Anticon founder and instrumental rap innovator Alias is reborn with Fever Dream, his sixth full-length for the label. Alias' acclaimed 2008 LP Resurgam represented a culmination of the sound he'd been chasing the previous five years - a bewitchingly blue combination of icy atmosphere, haunted melodies and hard drums. He cleansed his palate with 2010's Fallen House, Sunken City, the modern boom-bap masterpiece he produced for emcee B. Dolan, and when it came time to return to the Alias oeuvre, he was ready for a reboot.

      'Fever Dream' is Alias' most inspired and dynamic record in years. Spurred by the psychedelic sound and off-kilter groove of electronic experimentalists like Flying Lotus, Modeselektor and Bibio, he ditched quantized beats, embraced warmth, and set the whole thing wobbling to a warped dance pulse. Incorporating generous amounts of chopped, pitch-bent R&B vocals, plus sprinklings of live instrumentation and loads of left turns, Fever Dream is a stylistic whirlwind of hallucinatory house, homespun big beat, swinging downtempo, and melodic break music.

      Second song "Wanna Let It Go" offers a mainline into the new album. Laced with soulful moans, deep bass, digital blips and swooning synths, the track can't help but nod to contemporaries like James Blake and Nosaj Thing, while the soupy, seething "Revl Is Divad" seems to pluck its particular swing from the early '90s (the title contains a hint as to specifics). "Feverdreamin" is a lush tropical breeze of a song sounding like Boards of Canada interpreting Animal Collective, and "Sugarpeeeee" is an exercise in ghostly electric R&B that goes out on some serious clang.

      Alias brings in a few collaborators as well. Subtle's Dax Pierson fleshes out the lush, jittery funk of "Talk In Technicolor" by lending his voice and keys to the cause. For "Dahorses," old friend DJ Mayonnaise plays the New Wave synth, while Mike Haggett crushes the drums, building to a Tortoise-y full-band finale. The throbbing "Lady Lambin'" samples the "la-dee-da's" of fellow Mainer Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, while "Boom Boom Boom," tosses the modulated coo of WHY?'s Yoni Wolf into a blender with some slowed-down Bhangra beats.

      Fittingly, the album comes to a close with "Wrap," where a girl and a guy nabbed from other songs spar over the equally contentious sonics, ranging from stuttering hip-hop to dub-damaged ambience to a crescendo of percussion, chimes and voice. And just like that, Fever Dream ends, with no indication that the reverie is actually over. Bad news for the short term - it's hard not to want more - but the long view looks great: renewed, Alias has a ton of new ground to explore.

      Alias' 6th full-length from Anticon with his most inspired productions yet.


      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Ltd LP Info: Download coupon included in LP pressing (limited to 1000 units).

      Created for the Element Skateboards film This Is My Element, the "TIME Soundtrack" is the first of its kind: an original, artist-composed score crafted to the beat of polyurethane pounding pavement. Anticon veteran producer and beatsmith Odd Nosdam tailors each song to fit the style and cadence of the Element rider it accompanies. From its opening moments, the album menaces thump-driven destruction. "TIME In" sports an ominous SP1200-crunched beat that stomps into the fore like Godzilla into Nagasaki, while Nosdam's trademark pops and quirks flit overhead. The Chad Muska-inspired "Trunk Bomb" aggressively boom-baps its way to rhythmic bliss via chopped breaks and arpeggiated synth, while "Fly Mode" (co-produced by Jel and fashioned after the fluid stylings of Brent Atchley) is a loping, folksy instrumental that blows through like a summer breeze. Throughout the "TIME Soundtrack", Nosdam's approach - decidedly upbeat, mobile, and spontaneous - cements the guitar-driven rollick of "We Bad Apples" to the funky minimalism of "Zone Coaster" to the sweet toughness of "Ethereal Slap".

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      LP Info: LP has different sleeve artwork.

      Here Nosdam compiles the odds and ends created mostly around his last two full lengths (2005's "Burner" and 2007's "Level Live Wires"), as well as a few choice gems from bygone days. The first disc is bombastic and beat-blown, and well displays Nosdam's impressive range as a remix artist. Two of the record's strongest pieces are remixes created solely for this project. "(Growin' Up In The Hood) Four Thousand Style" is Nosdam's electric tribute to Leeds cult band Hood (fronted by Chris Adams, who records for Anticon as Bracken). Drum machine maestro Jel (Subtle / Themselves) adds a few pounds and Flying Saucer Attack collaborator Jessica Bailiff sings ghostly overtop, recalling Stereolab caught in a heavy swirl of fuzz, grind, and unusual beauty. The second disc is Nosdam's ambient EP, exchanging drums and voice for the fuzzy warmth of eight-track cassette composition. "Burner"-era B-side "My Prayer Rug" rocks a slow and steady crystalline stomp that morphs into the blissed-out record-skip trip of "Bear Hug" (exhumed from the cLOUDDEAD days) before reaching the nine-minute, four-chambered remix suite, "Dayvan Cowboy", originally by Boards of Canada. Fittingly, "20th" carries the listener to the record's finish on a broad swell.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      2xCD Info: CD also includes videos.

      This is Anticon co-founder Sole's official follow up to 2005's "Live From Rome" LP, and first release with his new band, Skyrider. It's the label's finest hip hop album since Sage Francis' classic "Personal Journals" way back in 2002. In some ways, this is a record of return - a return to rhyming for one, particularly the complicated rhyme schemes that marked Sole's early work, a return driven by his seeming, but not actual, discordant love of both Lord Byron and Lil' Wayne. It's a record where the lovely analog of "Shipwreckers" (where Sole jacks the hook from the Guy Debord film Refutation Of All Judgements) comfortably co-habits with the grinding, anthemic opening track "A Sad Day For Investors".

      Anticon bring us a hand-picked collection of Alias' greatest work as a remixer. All the tracks are super-rare, out of print or previously unreleased, including reworks of Lucky Pierre, Lali Puna, John Vanderslice, Sixtoo, Christ and more. The tracks play like an artist album, each song the proud new owner of the Alias trademark: Alternately searing and frostbitten production, reverberating and crunchy, built on considered keystrokes, finely cut click'n'pop, guitar pickings and drum machine ballistics.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      2xLP Info: Limited edition red vinyl pressing. 1000 copies only.

      Telephone Jim Jesus

      A Point To Far To Astronaut

      "A Point To Far To Astronaut" is the debut album from Restiform Bodies member and Sole producer Telephone Jim Jesus. It's a psychedelic collage of spacey samples, droning synths, hard-hitting drums, pretty guitar riffs and sweet piano melodies, interwoven with surreal poetry pieces (sounding like they're recorded from a dictaphone source). Includes contributions from Pedestrian and Passage.

      Sole

      Selling Live Water

      Brilliant second LP from Anticon's Sole. He spills multi-layered freeform rhymes over dense, avant rhythms that are co-produced by Cloudead's Odd Nosdam, Themselves' Jel (who also adds turntablist cuts) and Restiform Bodies' Telephone Jim Jesus.

      Themselves

      The No Music

      Awesome album from Themselves AKA Them AKA Doseone (cLOUDDEAD) and Jel. It's another selection of Anticon's cerebral hip hop tracks for fans of the leftfield.


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