Light a candle. Draw the required sigils. Now, raise your arms above your head and slowly, gently, exhale your soul. You won’t need it here. This is Audioccult, and it’s time to get low.
I’ve sort of hit the point where the only time I go to a party is if I’m throwing it myself. It’s a combination of too little time and too much impatience at unimaginative DJ sets. I’m not into techno or minimal or most of the stuff that makes the big Berlin clubs shake (or big clubs for that matter) and I’d rather make tiny incisions around the rim of my butt with a razor than go to an ’80s night’. On the rare occasions that I actually do find time to go out, it’s usually to something a friend is doing. Like the Noisekölln kids, for example. The Berlin collective curate some pretty good shit, including a recent Anklepants show that was way harder than the online material suggests. Noisekölln released their first cassette this month, featuring several tracks of somber, fuzzed-out garage by Ill Winds and some ambient sine-wave fuckery by Moon Wheel. Stream it here, and if you love DIY cassette culture and melodramatic lo-fi music, you should snag a copy. You might want to save a bit of cash, however, as House of LaDosha are also planning to drop a mixtape fairly soon. New York’s baddest banjee bois have been throwing out tracks on their Soundcloud lately, and ‘Rollin’ is one of their most anthemic. Clapping, snapping beats, shotgun blasts, and Naomi Campbell references set it off hard.
Though I spent a considerable portion of my youth hurling my Nintendo controller across the room in frustration, video games are definitely something I grew out of once I discovered music, kissing girls, and obsessive shoe-shopping (which also boosted the amount of kissing I got to do as well. Pay it forward). So I could honestly give a rat’s butt about the new Max Payne game if it wasn’t for the fact that the soundtrack is comprised of all-new material from the always-engaging HEALTH. The first glimpse of the Max Payne 3 soundtrack is ‘Tears’, a dense, heavy track dripping with equal amounts of venom and sadness. Like a carousel ride on ketamine, it swirls you around in a wash of despair that would make Trent Reznor tackle the ‘Damn son where’d you find this’ guy and bully him around like a little sissy. What dreams may come….
A lot of people seem to think this column is about ‘witch house’, including one or two colleagues who also think it’s about horror or something. I think I stunned them a bit with the realization that I actually hate horror movies (though not as much as horror movie fans, who are generally the worst sort of nerds) and I’m not exactly jizzing myself over witch house post-2010 either. The groups we bloggers unheedingly collected under the banner were never one specific thing in the first place; there was just a coherent ‘vibe’. When newer acts rushed to join the fun and tried to legitimize it, the idea went the same way as many genres do: trapped in the idea of defined limitations and thus usually boring. I never got into the more straightforward second-wave stuff like Ritualz, and he knows it, too; no shade brah but that’s how it goes sometimes. The sparkling piano lurking beneath the buzzing swarm of synths of ‘Melancholia’ just really works, though, and the mall fountain light show ties it together perfectly. I spent quite a nice evening last week blasting this on the computer and jumping on my friend’s bed in a halo of smoke. He said I was conjuring Enya from Hell, and so what if I was? I’m a kid, that’s my job.
Fatima al Qadiri‘s Genre-Specific Xperience might not have snared my soul as completely as her Ayshay experiments, but that’s apricots and olives. I always find her work absorbing on some level, and the upcoming GSX Remixes collection is prime. The remixers are the usual suspects; among others we’ve got Nguzunguzu, Girl Unit and DJ Rashad putting their spin on things, which means my prayers that al Qadiri would just go super left-field and bring in someone like Bone Awl or Kevin Blechdom to fuck shit up must go unanswered. What kind of god allows so many weird opportunities to pass the world by? Eat chain, Pope. I still dig the chilled, thumping Kingdom remix, but I know why the caged bird sings. Ssion has a new remix as well from Nightfeelings, aka Teengirl Fantasy‘s Nick Weiss. I suppose I’m only including it because of my love of both projects. It’s definitely worth listening to, but if you’re going to rework a sexualized beauty like this, you should really rework it. This sticks a bit too closely to the disco vibe of the original without approaching the same level.
It’s always a pleasure to find new music that I can legit call beautiful. Not beautiful in a weird way, or some sort of ‘dark’ way, but just plain beautiful. Death and Vanilla capture that essence perfectly. Lush, submerged arrangements spiral around each other, the delicate xylophone and strings playing counterpoint to psychedelic synths and vocals that make me believe Trish Keenan never really died. If this echoes with Broadcast, Forrs will make you believe Burial just got baptized. The audio project of Soundcloud founder Eric Wahlforss is rich with all the lighter snaps, vinyl crackles and after-dark garage arrangements the London producer is known for, but ummm….with monks. Seriously, this is pretty much Church Burial, but in the best way possible. If Wahlforrs wants to keep doing this, I’ll happily slap a KEEP IT GREGORIAN sticker on my laptop and crank the subs for my own special mass. Heaven is real and I’m already dead.
Published May 21, 2012.