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Emeralds

Solar Bridge

    Emeralds — musicians John Elliott, Steve Hauschildt, and Mark McGuire — emerged from the rust-pocked, post-millennial Midwest drone/noise scene seemingly unable or uninterested in keeping up with themselves. Their proliferation of material was intimidating; mountains of improvised, home-recorded music were released on limited-edition tapes, CD-Rs, and split LPs. There is and was a sense that the Ohio trio was after something beyond physical mediums. By 2008, their sprawling live sets were a known can’t-miss at any underground experimental event. Tiny Mix Tapes reviewed that year’s appearance at No Fun Fest: “No one’s sawtooths, sines, and other various waveforms were so beautifully sculpted and beamed out into the Plejades as Emeralds’.” These basement dwellers were shaping meditative, psychedelic, arpeggiated electronic music in the veins of German kosmische forebears like Ash Ra Tempel, Klaus Schulze, and Tangerine Dream. Made primarily with synthesizers and guitar, Emeralds’ music possessed the same astral psyche with a home-crafted punk edge, a distant descendant of that pioneering era, and a bridge to someplace new, someplace scorched. Released on Aaron Dilloway’s (Wolf Eyes, etc.) Hanson imprint, Solar Bridge was the first Emeralds album to receive any kind of proper distribution and represents the first attempt to archivally preserve their fluid craft. The first of an inimitable five-LP run before the band dissolved in 2013, Solar Bridge is a moment of glistening primacy that boots up a catalog and legacy that the heads still grapple with. Emeralds begin to make sense of it in the fall of 2022 with a remastered Solar Bridge LP release on Ghostly International.

    The Midwest leaves an indelible mark on Emeralds’ sound; their debut characteristically vibrates as if from a ghost mall or some other relic of the rust belt. Side A, “Magic,” finds the three young musicians summoning by way of analog synthesis and processed guitar motifs. Though it could be loosely called “drone,” this miasmic wall of melody ripples through dynamics; pulses ebb and flow in and out in a way where every edge disappears. Like any good magic trick, there is something invisible at play here.

    On Side B, “The Quaking Mess,” oxidized squeals and shuddering mechanical whines commingle with square and saw wave pads and flickering guitar details to create a post-industrial parking lot tableau. Eventually, the ground swells up, and a massive firmament trembles below the wobbling synths and rickety electronics. There is a power at the heart of Emeralds’ sound that displays a kind of egalitarian psychedelia, a working-class kosmische, a proletariat trip zone. Everyone is welcome to watch the world fold in on itself as they are pulled into the portal.

    “Photosphere,” a previously unreleased recording included as a digital exclusive, affords a look at a more serene stretch from the same session. A demure guitar loop wafts above slowly shifting tectonic synthesizer drones; the tremendous restraint the trio shows here hints at part of the unique place they would carve out for themselves, both together and respectively, in the annals of American DIY experimental music. Elliott, McGuire, and Hauschildt are known now for being tuned into a mutual vocabulary as Emeralds. They are players that exercise a kind of profound listening. Slowness, as a kind of punk ethos. As the static sputters into the right channel around the twelve-minute mark, the scene becomes selfaware, and we are released into the ether.

    Emeralds materialized as a fully formed entity radiating cosmic potential. Their discography evolved and incorporated different qualities and vocabularies but hearing where it started will always feel different. The density, the patience, and the sheer refinement presented on Solar Bridge legibly demonstrates how and why Emeralds has become a legendary part of the contemporary electronic music canon. 

    TRACK LISTING

    A1. Magic
    B1. The Quaking Mess 

    Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith

    Let's Turn It Into Sound

      Acclaimed composer, artist, and producer Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith returns to Ghostly International with Let’s Turn it Into Sound, her most ambitious, intuitive, and inviting work to date. Though ambient and modern new age circles have embraced Smith’s catalog, Let’s Turn it Into Sound favors a more baroque and robust form of avant-pop. The music bursts with vertiginous vocal harmonies and detailed sound design, forming a truly unique sonic vision.

      “Art is awe, art is mystery expressed,” writes Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith. “Art is somatic, even if it is experienced cerebrally. It is felt.”

      The central mysteries of Smith’s ninth studio album, Let’s Turn it Into Sound, have to do with perception, expression, and communication: How can we communicate when spoken language is inadequate? How do we understand what it is we’re feeling? How do we translate our experience of the world into something that someone else can understand?

      For Smith, a self-described “feeler,” the answers are inspired by compound words in non-English languages, translation, sculptural fashion, dance, butoh, wushu shaolin, and other forms of sensory and somatic experience. Just like fashion uses lines, shapes, colors, textures, and silhouettes to communicate on a sensual level separate from the conscious mind, Let’s Turn it Into Sound strives to use sound to communicate what words alone cannot.

      “The album is a puzzle,” Smith says. “[It] is a symbol of receiving a compound of a ton of feelings from going out into a situation, and the song titles are instructions to breaking apart the feelings and understanding them.” The energized “Is it Me or Is it You” comes from traversing the gaps between how you see yourself and how another might see you, through a filter of their own projections. The hushed sense of revelation that brackets “There is Something” refers to the feeling of walking into a room and being subconsciously aware of the dynamic present. All the while, Smith interprets these feelings through sound.

      This auditory interpretation process, driven by earnest curiosity, led Smith to record some thoughts and questions that popped up along the journey in Somatic Hearing—a booklet which accompanies the album.

      Over three frenzied months, recording alone in her home studio, Smith allowed herself to pursue new experiments to accompany her usual toolkit of modular, analogue, and rare synthesizers (including her signature Buchla), orchestral sounds, and the voice. She created a new vocal processing technique, and gave herself permission to pursue a pacing that felt intuitive, rather one that followed typical song structures. She walked around in the windiest season with a subwoofer backpack and an umbrella, listening to the low end of the album amidst 60mph gusts. She listened to herself, and, in doing so, to an inner community which suddenly opened to her. Underlying the album is a dynamic relationship between what Smith describes as six distinct voices, each a multifaceted storyteller. By acknowledging these characters, she was acknowledging her whole being: the woven plurality of self, the complex process of noticing and resolving inner conflicts, and the joy of finding harmony in flux. “I started to feel so embodied by all of these characters. This is all the felt, unsaid stuff [my inner community] wants to communicate but it doesn’t have the English language as its form of communication, and so [this album was a form of] giving space to let it talk and not judge it and just let it play.” By not adhering to expected song structures, each song feels even more like a conversation, with each character getting to express themselves in full.


      TRACK LISTING

      1. Have You Felt Lately?
      2. Locate
      3. Let It Fall
      4. Is It Me Or Is It You?
      5. Check Your Translation
      6. Pivot Signal
      7. Unbraid: The Merge
      8. Then The Wind Came
      9. There Is Something
      10. Give To The Water

      ADULT

      Resucitation - 2022 Reissue

        “We’ve wanted to re-release this album for some time,” says ADULT.’s Adam Lee Miller, “but we weren’t ready until now. We have some new material in the pipeline, and we thought this would be a nice way to reintroduce ourselves.”

        It is indeed a nice way for the hugely respected Detroit duo to herald their return to the world of music, especially for anyone who missed out on Resuscitation the first time around — the album was never available digitally until the 2012 re-release and vinyl pressing on Ghostly International. The reissue thus presented the chance to own one of the more influential records of the early 2000s: either on double 12” LP or, for the first time, as a digital release. Now, in 2022, the vinyl is available for the first time in a new red and black marble colorway.

        When it first dropped in 2001, Resuscitation served as a de facto introduction to the duo, collecting a bunch of songs on CD that had only previously been available on hard-to-find singles and EPs. Eleven years later, it does the same thing, except this time around, we can see just how influential its creators’ work has been — and ADULT.’s music only sounds more remarkable with the benefit of hindsight.

        At the time, Resuscitation’s combination of crisp beats, squelch-laden synths and Nicola Kuperus’ detached monotone sounded like a broadcast from the future, steeped in the analog synth sounds of forebears like Kraftwerk but possessed
        of an ultramodern sheen all its own. The duo’s visual aesthetic was just as important — Kuperus’ photography adorned all their album packaging (including this re-release), and their live shows drew on a sense of what a reviewer once called “detached intrigue.”

        Echoes of ADULT.’s aesthetic can be heard today in everything from today’s surfeit of analog synth-toting minimal wave bands to the highly stylized divas who dominate the pop charts. But really, in 2022 Resuscitation still sounds like no-one else.

        TRACK LISTING

        01. Lost Love
        02. Hand To Phone (Cordless Mix)
        03. Minors At Nite (Still Sick)
        04. New Object (Edit)
        05. Contagious
        06. Mouth To Mouth
        07. Nausea (Restructured)
        08. Pressure Suit
        09. Dispassionate Furniture (Reupholstered)
        10. Human Wreck (Radio Edit)
        11. Side-Swiped (Extended Mix)
        12. Your Lies
        13. Skinlike (Equation Mix)

        Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith & Emile Mosseri

        I Could Be Your Dog / I Could Be Your Moon

          “His music filled me with the urge to connect with the world,” Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith says of Emile Mosseri. She first heard his work while watching the 2019 film The Last Black Man In San Francisco; just minutes in, she paused it to look up who did the score and wrote to him immediately. “I love Emile’s ability to create melodies that feel magically scenic and familiar like they are reminding you of the innocence of loving life.” Those talents saw recognition in 2020 with an Oscar nomination for Mosseri’soriginal score to the film Minari. He was already a fan of Smith’s and became increasingly intrigued by her impressionistic process as they started to talk. “The music feels so spiritual and alive and made from the earth,” Mosseri says. “I think of her as the great conductor, summoning musical poetry from her orchestra of machines.” I Could Be Your Dog / I Could Be Your Moon, their two-part collaborative album, introduces an uncanny fusion of their sonics. Constructed using synthesizer, piano, electronics, and voice, this soft-focus dream world is lush, evocative, and fleeting. It finds two composers tuning their respective styles inward as an ode to mutual inspiration, a celebration of the human spirit and its will to surrender to the currents of life.

          Early into their correspondence, Smith and Mosseri realized they were neighbors in Los Angeles and met up for a few hikes. Their conversations led to a musical exchange over email. The exercise became a sketch, the start of their first song together, “Log In Your Fire,” with Mosseri finding flourishes in Smith’s cathartic synth lines to intonate and harmonize alongside. Lyrically, it’s a beautiful, open-ended sentiment. “Being a log in someone’s fire, to me, means letting go, and surrendering to that feeling,” says Mosseri. From there, the pair composed a series of musical foundations, trading files from afar, nurturing the eventual expansion as the remote days of 2020 set in. Smith likens the collaborative experience to the exciting uncertainty of starting a garden, “doing what I can to facilitate growth while enjoying the process of being surprised by what will actually grow.”

          In the summer of 2021, the duo finished work on the sequel, I Could Be Your Moon, expanding their musical language as the first part reached its September release. Songs from these more recent exchanges find them even more synced, forging into percussive and harmonic experiments, leaning further into their “unused musical muscles,” as Smith and Mosseri put it. A unified vocal presence emerged. “As the friendship grew I think we both learned how to support each other more and musically that was communicated through singing together,” adds Smith.

          Now taken as a full album set, I Could Be Your Dog / I Could Be Your Moon moves fluidly from track to track, panning through textural vi- gnettes. Two roughly 17-minute halves, the set evokes the bittersweet sense of something too bright or rare to last, a short-lived glimpse into a golden hour. There is a dreamy, elemental intention to this music, which Smith and Mosseri say came naturally, as they both embraced intuitive interplay throughout their creative back-and-forth. The stylistic threads of each composer are recognizable yet become more ambiguous as the album progresses, sewn into a singular vision. “I’m so grateful that my musical ideas could dance with hers with some grace and harmony,” says Mosseri. Smith adds that this experience helped her “remember that mu- sic can be a connecting layer of friendship, especially in a time when the usual ways were out of reach.”

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Barry says: An absolutely stunning collection of nigh-choral electronic pieces, imbued with Aurelia Smith's mastery of the synthesiser and Mosseri's expertise in the soundtrack field. A collection of unexpected, organic compositions that are from neither one world nor the other but perfectly at home in both.

          TRACK LISTING

          01. Log In Your Fire
          02. Moon In Your Eye
          03. Brush
          04. I Could Be Your Dog
          05. Glendora
          06. Blink Twice
          07. Moonweed
          08. Green To You
          09. Amber
          10. Standing In Your Light
          11. Shim Sham
          12. Golden Cow
          13. Radio Replacement

          Fort Romeau

          Beings Of Light

            After a run of critically-acclaimed singles and EPs, British producer Michael Greene, aka Fort Romeau, returns to the full-length format with Beings of Light, the long-awaited follow-up to 2015’s Insides and his second LP on Ghostly International. While a prolific DJ who orients many of his productions for the dancefloor, Greene still sees the album as the ultimate statement of intent, “a space to stretch out, to speak in full paragraphs rather than stunted sentences.” He has explored several stylistic fragments in recent years (including the summer 2018 anthem “Pablo,” hailed a Best New Track by Pitchfork), but when faced with the extended pause to the dance community in 2020, Greene felt compelled to focus on a larger body of work. Embracing a back-to-basics mentality, he amassed over a dozen hours of sounds, asking himself throughout the sessions: “Does the music move you? Is it honest?” He came out the other end with Beings of Light, an expressive collection traversing rainy day ambient, moonlit disco, and dream-like techno in pursuit of the power found within our subconscious.

            Like previous Fort Romeau records, Greene’s foundational inspiration for Beings of Light is imagery. Specifically, a work by Steven Arnold, a Dalí protégé known for con structing otherworldly, tableau vivant set designs from found objects until his death in 1994 amid the AIDS crisis. Arnold’s 1984 photograph Power of Grace (featured as the album art and lending a title to one of its tracks) spoke to Greene immediately: “It’s transcendent in the most potent and direct manner, imagination untethered by material, elegance without riches. Imagination always wins over resource.” The visual, as well as the surrealist idea that dreams allow us to create a better reality, led Greene to shape his most ambitious and complete record to date, a love letter to dance music coded with a message of hope. The album title comes from his belief that people can facilitate change by first imagining the way we want things to be, and not letting cynicism block that light.

            The urgency is felt right away, as album opener “Untitled IV” ushers in a sprinting tempo in its exploration of the human voice, a recurring device in the Fort Romeau project. Greene uses it as a compositional layer, disembodied with its context often opaque or reduced to a single phrase. Here the voice is scattered in percussive twitches, colliding with a kick drum to induce a near state of hypnosis as horns sound off in the distance.

            Propulsive standout “Spotlights’’ is Greene’s ode to the romanticised New York City that lives in our hearts, nocturnal and carefree. A vocal snippet repeats the title with a breezy poise, reminiscent of classic house cuts. “Ramona’’ honors the beloved Robert Johnson club in Offenbach, Germany. Hazy, spacious, and sustained, Greene designed the beat with their system in mind, “also with a strong nod to the more modern lineage of exceptional minimal house music from Frankfurt,” he says. Two ambient pieces surround the track, “(In The) Rain” sets the scene and “Porta Coeli” (a Latin phrase which loosely translates to “heaven’s gate”) soundtracks the comedown. It’s these sequential choices that reflect Greene’s desire to reach beyond the formulaic demands of the dancefloor for something less tangible, a middle space. “One that relates to the immediacy of precision frequency soundsystem music but also connects to us with the complication and ambiguity that is required of human emotion,” he explains.

            No better example than the album’s closer, the title track. An arc constructed with atmospheric textures, euphoric swings of percussion, and a well-placed piano refrain, “Beings of Light” is adaptive; one could imagine it reverberating from a club, scoring the emotional apex of a film, or radiating through the realm of dreams. That is where Greene sees us having real impact. “The dream world is our most potent weapon against the status quo - realities cannot exist without first being imagined. It is the job of power to limit the scope of the imagination. We must resist it always and fully.”

            TRACK LISTING

            A1. Untitled IV
            A2. The Truth
            A3. Power Of Grace
            A4. (In The) Rain
            B1. Spotlights
            B2. Ramona
            B3. Porta Coeli
            B4. Beings Of Light

            Mary Lattimore

            Collected Pieces: 2015-2020

              In the afterglow of her acclaimed 2020 album Silver Ladders (a year-end favorite of NPR, Pitchfork, The New Yorker, and others), Los Angeles-based harpist Mary Lattimore returns with a culminating counterpart release, Collected Pieces: 2015-2020.

              Lattimore has described the process of arranging these releases as akin to “opening a box filled with memories,” and here that box continues to populate, accessible for both the artist and fans. Evocative material separated by years, framed as a portrait of an instrumental storyteller who rarely pauses, recording and often sharing music as soon as it strikes her. Seemingly in constant forward motion for the last five years since her Ghostly debut, Lattimore glances back for a breath, inviting new chances to live in these fleeting moments and emotions; all the beauty, sorrow, sunshine, and darkness housed within.

              “Mary, You Were Wrong” mirrors an author’s bout with a broken heart. “It’s about how you have to keep on going even if you make some mistakes,” she says. The bittersweet refrain cycles throughout, a little brighter every time, slowly, like the way time tends to heal.

              A newer single, “We Wave From Our Boats,” was improvised after walking her neighborhood during the early days of lockdown in 2020, and shared on her Bandcamp. “I would just wave at neighbors I didn’t know in a gesture of solidarity and it reminded me of how you’re compelled to wave at people on the other boat when you’re on a boat yourself, or on a bridge or something. The pull to wave feels very innate and natural.” The heart of the track is a somber loop, over top which Lattimore’s synth notes ruminate, each a gentle shimmer of optimism in the most anxious and absurd of days.

              Also recorded in 2020, “What The Living Do” is inspired by Marie Howe’s poem of the same name, which reflects on loss through an appreciation for the mundane messiness of being human. The echoed, slow-marching track has a distant feel to it, as if the listener is outside of it, watching life play out as a film. She adopted the same approach for “Polly of the Circus,” explaining it was the name of one of the old silent films discovered in permafrost in the Yukon [featured in the documentary Dawson City: Frozen Time], “the only copy that survived and it kind of warped in the aging process.”

              A trove of pieces are collected here, most recorded in the moment, just Lattimore and her Lyon and Healy Concert Grand Harp, contact mics, and pedals. There’s the one about the American astronaut’s homecoming (“For Scott Kelly, Returned To Earth”), the Charlie Chaplin-like character who lost their glasses (“Be My Four Eyes”). Like her most affecting work, these songs showcase Lattimore’s gifts as an observer, able to shape her craft around emotional frequencies and scenes. Her power as a musician is rooted in how she sees the world: in vivid detail, profoundly empathic, with deep gratitude for nature and nuance.

              TRACK LISTING

              A1. Wawa By The Ocean
              A2. We Wave From Our Boats
              A3. For Scott Kelly, Returned To Earth
              B1. Your Glossy Camry
              B2. Be My Four Eyes
              C1. Pine Trees (Home Recording)
              C2. We Just Found Out She Died
              C3. What The Living Do
              D1. Polly Of The Circus
              D2. The Warm Shoulder
              D3. Mary You Were Wrong

              Twenty-plus years into his career, producer / vocalist / songwriter / DJ Matthew Dear remains artistically unpredictable in pursuit of his prescient strain of electronically-formed, organically-delivered indie pop. His work traverses myriad musical worlds, belonging to none. But these fluid moves have not been without a few forks in the road, decisive turns, and what-ifs. Most notable is the pivot-point following Dear’s acclaimed 2007 avant-pop LP, “Asa Breed”, in which he broke away from the 4/4 grid of his techno / house debut “Leave Luck To Heaven” and into something much more wild and idiosyncratic. Traveling between his adopted Detroit and his home state of Texas throughout 2008 and 2009, Dear amassed a set of personal, playful, looping guitar-centric recordings he’d consider for his next album. Given the new momentum of the hybrid electronic pop of “Asa Breed” which led to an opening slot for Hot Chip and remixes for ‘00 heroes like Spoon and Postal Service, Dear decided to shelf the material. He moved ahead to work on his watershed 2010 album, “Black City”, a steely noir set which earned him a Best New Music on Pitchfork and a worldwide tour with a besuited band. This lost album had a sound, a spirited country romp in the techno barn, and it had a rough title, a scribble on one of the CD-Rs passed to Ghostly label founder Sam Valenti IV, Preacher’s Sigh & Potion. He never fully walked away from it, and merely kept moving down the road, waiting for the audience to catch up. Over a decade later, that time is now.

              “Preacher’s Sigh & Potion” finds Dear unknowingly at an intersection in his young run, a burgeoning songwriter at his most freewheeling and unaffected. In hindsight, there were hints of Preacher’s sound on “Asa Breed”, but the set still registers endearingly out of step with his eventual direction. This was the first time Dear tapped so directly into his late father’s influence as a fingerpicking guitar player in the 1960s and ‘70s and a gateway to the music of John Prine, Townes Van Zandt, and Emmylou Harris.

              From the twang and tambourine stomp of album opener “Muscle Beach,” to the metronome-like pulse of “Hikers Y” complete with an unmistakable Matthew Dear dryly dismissive mantra, to the gloomy carnival-leaving-town pomp of “Gutters and Beyond”, “Preacher’s Sigh & Potion” is filled with the reckless notions of an artist dashing the history of pop and rock, the twang of country, the build and release of techno. Dear is an auteur, and in retrospect, so many of his signatures crop up in these relics from his former self. Dear remembers him well: ‘It’s crazy how music memory exists in a very deep and indescribable tangibility. I know the person who made all these, and remember glimpses of the desk, or studio set up for each recording. I know who wrote these lyrics, and where they were mentally during that process.’ Revisiting this material now also has Dear thinking about his father’s legacy.


              STAFF COMMENTS

              Matt says: A cosmic-acid, hillbilly-'tronica album anyone? It sounds pretty batshit, but I can't help thinking this was everything Moby was trying to achieve in 1999.

              TRACK LISTING

              01. Muscle Beach
              02. Sow Down
              03. Hikers Y
              04. Never Divide
              05. All Her Fits
              06. Supper Times
              07. Crash And Burn
              08. Heart To Sing
              09. Eye
              10. Head
              11. Gutters And Beyond

              It was the end of 2013 and Jannis Noya Makrigiannis, the frontman and principal persona behind Choir of Young Believers, was worn out. He’d been touring the band’s last record the haunting Rhine Gold, for the better part of a year and, when it was over, he felt confused, adrift and didn’t feel like playing music. He was doubting the future of the band. The way he coped was to detach. He postponed writing in favor of traveling, deciding that instead of diving back into the creation of another record, he would allow himself to move in whatever direction he desired. His impulses guided his decisions; he wasn’t feeling very inspired by the guitar or the piano, so he started to fiddle around with a small pocket sampler his mother got him for Christmas, using it to make small soundscapes, beats and collages. Those early experiments became the building blocks for Grasque, from the warped, weird choral vocals that open “Serious Lover” to breezey, breathy R&B of “Jeg Ser Dig,” on which he sounds like a Scandinavian Sade.

              The record pulls in a host of unlikely influences: smoky jazz on the noirish “The Whirlpool Enigma” twinkling pop on “Gamma Moth” and sun-bathed soul on “Cloud Nine.” It’s not so much a reinvention as a redirection, maintaining all of the group’s essential elements but setting them within a new context. Much of that is because, when Makrigiannis started the project, it wasn’t meant to be a new COYB record. Having been inspired by everything from experimental electronic music to Danish ‘80s and ‘90s pop, to modern hip-hop and R&B to techno and westcoast slow jams, he’d made a new, imaginary band in his head called Grasque to reflect those influences. He quickly recorded both “Græske” and “Face Melting” with Aske Zidore, who had also produced Rhine Gold, and when Choir of Young Believers reconvened to tour with Depeche Mode, he wrote a few guitar-based songs to play live. Gradually, he realized all of his new ideas and music could melt together with Choir of Young Believers. A couple of months later, he and Aske went to a small Swedish farm for a week and came back with more than 10 hours of new music.

              The result is an album that is confident and expansive, incorporating an encyclopedia of styles while still maintaining the essential elements of Choir of Young Believers’ DNA. It’s pop music, put through a kaleidoscopic filter. “I must admit, one of the things I worried about was ‘What will people think?’” Makrigiannis says. “With almost all ofthese songs, I had been in doubt. Some, I felt, were too poppy, others too experimental some didn’t even feel like songs, but more like trips, or feelings. Some even had Danish and Greek lyrics. But now, it’s all Choir of Young Believers to me, and it feels great to have pushed the walls around the band, giving it a bit more space. It’s weird for me to think about all that doubt ”Could I do this? Could I do that? I mean, it’s my fucking band. I can do what I want with it. Right?”

              TRACK LISTING

              1. Olimpiyskiy
              2. Serious Lover
              3. Vaserne
              4. Face Melting
              5. Græske
              6. Jeg Ser Dig
              7. Cloud Nine
              8. The Whirlpool Enigma
              9. Perfect Estocada
              10. Salvatore
              11. Gamma Moth
              12. Does It Look As If I Care

              Tobacco

              Ultima II Massage

              On his third album, the Pennsylvania snake-synth-charmer deepens his approach to aural depravity. 'Ultima II Massage' widens a jagged swath through the dude’s own weird catalogue, each disparate track damaged to the point of contributing to some sort of greater, lurching Frankenstein-like state. Immediately after finishing 2010’s 'Maniac Meat', he went to work on the beat-addled series begun with 'Fucked Up Friends' in 2008. But he's saved the worst for last, amassing the most misanthropic material for 'Ultima'. To wit, SPIN dubbed early share “Lipstick Destroyer” a “junkyard takedown of Daft Punk’s beloved, pristine electro.”

              This is easily Tobacco’s most diverse set to date - his own Stereopathetic Soulmanure, but about that 1-900 hotline life: massage parlors, plasticized sleaze, fake tans, old dial-ups to the fan clubs of dead B-actors. Fittingly, the album’s only contributor is music director Brian LeBarton who shrieks as Notrabel on the grimy freak-out “Streaker.” At 17 tracks, Ultima is stacked with beautifully perverse hits - from the sickly sticky “Eruption,” to the wobbly demon swaggerer “Face Breakout,” to the distorted punk spazz of “Dipsmack,” to the apocalyptic sepia ambience of “Spitlord.” You may hear disembodied bits of Boards of Canada, early Def Jam records, and Gary Numan, or maybe just public-access TV and bad VHS dubs of ‘80s horror flicks. Or the sun exploding and everything you’ve ever loved melting. Again, Tobacco was just trying to make meditation music.

              But to find that rotted sweet spot, as always, he had to subvert his pop urges. Tobacco went back to the cassette decks he started off with - analog weapons of distortion to compliment his hissing vocoder and blown rhythms. Any moment that felt “just right” was brutally assaulted until ugly again. All to accomplish one end: “This might be my most purposely difficult album yet, but I promise if you let it in, it can fuck you up.”


              TRACK LISTING

              1. Streaker (ft. Notrabel),
              2. Good Complexion,
              3. Video Warning Attempts,
              4. Eruption,
              5. Lipstick Destroyer,
              6. Self Tanner,
              7. Face Breakout,
              8. Blow Your Heart,
              9. Beast Sting,
              10. Dipsmack,
              11. Creaming For Beginners,
              12. Omen Classic,
              13. Pool City, McKnight Road,
              14. Spitlord,
              15. Father Sister Berzerker,
              16. The Touch From Within,
              17. Bronze Hogan.

              When Randolph Chabot, the 22-year-old auteur behind Deastro, is asked about the title of his new album, he recounts a dream about a prince, a kingdom, an evil King of Darkness, and a search for the mythical "Moondagger", the bearer of which wields ultimate power. While "Moondagger", Deastro's new new album, does contain traces of that dream, the record itself is infinitely more down-to-earth, containing the sort of unrelentingly earnest, inspirational pop music that could only come from a kid weaned on fiction but living desperately, joyously in the here-and-now. "Moondagger" expands upon the positive electro-pop of "Keepers" - Deastro's home-recorded opus from 2008 - with the addition of a full band. Thick, atmospheric production obscures bright, starry-eyed melodies; ecstatic synth squiggles dance around new-wave beats on songs about Nordics, toxic crusaders, and geometric shapes; arrangement ideas bounce off one another within ambitious song structures that swerve left, then right, then left again. And yet underneath all of their seeming irreverence, Deastro's songs are breathtakingly down-to-earth—melodic slices of synth-led experimental pop whose energy builds with each iteration of the chorus, hitting emotional peak after emotional peak until they collapse in a heap.


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              RT @Elbow: elbow are donating their proceeds to help facilitate ongoing therapy for good friend Mat Andrew, former owner of Vibes Records,…
              Mon 26th - 11:24
              💪 Looking forward to getting these in this week. Plus, it’s a good cause too. https://t.co/M1FXM9zVqz
              Mon 26th - 11:24
              RT @ofclmusicboxco: We are very excited to release @Elbow's ‘What Am I Without You’ as a Music Box! ★ Out Fri 30th Sept! ★ Proceeds will he…
              Mon 26th - 11:14
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