Gold Panda- Companion (2011)

6 04 2011

A Collection of EPs and singles that were released before his amazing LP, Last Years Lucky Shiner.I admit I’m cheating a bit on this review,  I’ve had the majority of this compilation on their respective EPs Before, Miyamae, etc. for some time as he’s one of my favorite new artists.  But now that it’s combined into one solid package, I have to express its greatness. It displays that Gold Panda had made great techno right from the start. There is a wide range of electronic styles Gold panda dabbled in before settling on his characteristic form of hazy glitch-hop and house.  tracks like Quitter’s raga shows he can dice and warp a sample like a mad scientist.  Back Home – a pulsing four tet-esque track that almost beats him as his own game, The Before EP shows off calm, contemplative, side – bustling with hip hop drum breaks and tranquil grooves.

The only issue I have with Companion is not the songs, but the track order. It’s like the guy at the record label just dragged and dropped all the EPs from iTunes and just pressed “burn”.  The Singles front load this album, with the b sides of these often being a much calmer, ambient sound following after. If this were an LP,  Going back and forth from glitch to calm every track would make for a perplexing listen. My humble suggestion would be to reorder it with Before first and the singles After. that way all the singles are still in order and it has a more balanced flow to the listening experience. But hey, what do I know? I’m no Mastering Engineer. Taking this album for what it is, which is a very convenient collection of Great Singles from Electronic music’s Rising Greats – There is nothing to complain about.

84/100

Quitter’s Raga “Experimental” Video. I like this more than the “Official” which was the cliché  slice of life video of people enjoying themselves. yawn… I love this guy’s music but one thing he does NOT have is exciting/ interesting videos.

http://www.iamgoldpanda.com/

http://ghostly.com/artists/gold-panda

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Fleet Foxes- Helplessness Blues (2011)

5 04 2011

Mountainous Folk Giants Fleet Foxes step up to the plate trying to follow their wildly popular and Album of the year accolades by Pitchfork debut can be a crippling task. so what do they do? from the sound of this album, decided to loosen up and jam more on Helplessness Blues. rather than the carefully sculpted folk hymns of last time, the Foxes bust out the instruments and noodle around – resulting in sounding more far-ranging and livelier than before. Evoking images like a bonfire improv session in the woods and the looming nature. Think less Nick Drake (Bad example, I Know – I don’t know enough folkies) and more Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young.

Do the Songs suffer? Good question. while they do have a great sound on this album and some melodies are marvelous, Helplessness Blues suffers from the good-but-not-great feel of some rather stagnant songs and it doesn’t really offer anything too new from the debut album or the Sun giant EP. I guess I was hoping for something to be a little more ambitious – having a Sound to their songs that equals the gorgeous vocals harmonies and really make their songs swell up and for lack of a better term, “Bloom” I’ll have to listen to this more and maybe it’ll warm up to me – since it took me awhile to be sold on Fleet Foxes in the first place.

75/100

What do you think? Comments? Am I Frontin’?





LCD SoundSystem’s NY Farewell Show

5 04 2011

In one word: Legendary. So bittersweet it’s almost unbearable.I feel regret that LCD is done and never got the chance to experience them live. Sigh, this is as close as I’ll get: One final Party it was with some band members groovin’ almost as much as the audience and James Murphy leaving at his Zenith. When people look back on this era of music, LCD will definitely be remembered and celebrated as one of the most important and fun groups we’ve had the fortune to hear

LCD Soundsystem’s NYC Farwell Show in its entirety.





The Squeezebox: Bibio- Mind Bokeh (2011)

31 03 2011

Wild, unfocused, and occasionally fascinating – Bibio surely isn’t trying to repeat himself much on the appropriately titled Mind Bokeh. Doing away with some of the sunny, almost tropic folk sounds of his previous LP Ambivalence Avenue and created this chaotic and Soulful slice of pop/electronica. It’s very overwhelming hearing this record the first time -you’re sort of confused and wonder where this album is going. Hazy Atmospherics, murky soul-searching, weaving bubbly Techno melodies, Funky Bass-lines, and stuttering Found-Sounds. While some songs are instantly appealing  and recall his earlier work (K is for Kelson, Anything New) some tracks begin to feel a little cluttered or are just total curve-balls (Take off Your Shirt). The more you listen however, the more the album unravels and the disparate elements seem to really gel. Mind Bokeh might make you scratch your head like I did the first time, or it could reveal itself for the album it is the first listen through – an eclectic showcase for one of electronic music’s most inventive producers.

76/100

http://www.myspace.com/mrbibio

http://warp.net/records/bibio





The Squeezebox: The Pains of being Pure at heart- Belong (2011)

29 03 2011

I admit, I went into listening Belong a little hesitant. It’s not that I didn’t like their 2009 Self titled debut. there were some great  songs on there, but tPoBPaT (what a crappy Acronym to type) was made a little uneven for me by a bit too much sugary preciousness that ran rampant throughout the album: Pretty but a little fluffy, with little strength behind it to cement in my mind or punch that particular chorus home. On their sophomore release Belong, They fix all the complaints I had with their sound and more.

Still mining Nostalgic Indie Pop Nuggets of Yester-Year, This album adds some new-found muscle to their Songs. The guitars are Heavier and more aggressive, the songs structures more creative and accomplished, and the production is boosted to a little higher fidelity  so the album feels less like a wispy 80s demo tape. It sounds like a big shift to avoid the second album curse, but they come out on the other side sounding like an  engaging and confident group. At its heart, it’s still a pop album; no amount of crunchy of guitars can take that away; gorgeous Pop songs about young love and looking back on your high school days. Packed with Melodies so addictive and catchy, you’ll swear you knew the words all along -like a lost song trapped in your memory. This new Punch to their sound has made me really reconsider Pains… They seem to be growing up a bit despite their nostalgic outlook:  from a wide-eyed group of lo-fi revivalists to a great Indie Rock Band that write undeniable pop songs.

82/100

Belong is now streaming for free on the band’s website. Neat-o





Fresh Fish: Burial – Street Halo EP (2011)

28 03 2011

Not one, but Two Burial releases in the last week! not bad considering he was pretty much silent (outside of some Choice Collaborations) since 2007’s Untrue LP. Street Halo sports some of the longer tracks  of his work, but it’s still the same Foggy 2 step with Spliced RnB vocals just out of reach- that dub-step fans have learned to Love. This New EP is Out Today. Check it.

 

 

Stone Dog

Street Halo

http://www.myspace.com/burialuk





Fresh Fish: Burial, Four Tet, & Thom Yorke- Ego/Mirror (2011)

25 03 2011

Need I say more?  It’s everything you could want from such a collaboration. Bringing in Burial‘s Murky Dub-stepping, Four Tet eccentric noodling, and Thom Yorke‘s Ghostly Vocals. check out this electronic Dream Team NOWW! or you know, later, or whatever..

Let’s Collectively cross our fingers for a full length album








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