Screwed

October 17, 2010 § Leave a comment

Let me introduce DJ Screw. He made approx. 230 mixtapes with local southern states hiphop and just made a very simple remix of every track: He slowed down the tempo drastically (sometimes half beat) making the beats extremely laid back and the flow of the rap into a dazed kind of story-telling.

The story goes, that “screw music”, or hiphop that got “chopped and screwed” as they called it, became more wide spread in the early 90’s as the increase in use of “purple drank”, a mix of cough syrup containing codeine and promethazine).

Some have called DJ Screw and his Screwed Up Click (a scene of other remixers that chopped and screwed hip hop) a “lazy avantgarde”, because they made this completely genious music without really much effort: they just slowed the tracks down, so the beat would fit the hot texas atmosphere, the opiate drugs they were taking and the mood of sitting in a lazy car queue in mass-motored Houston.

That’s a pretty good example of how drugs, a hot humid climate, mass-motoring and laziness can come to matter together.

Granted, not so good for a cold scandinavian fall, but pretty good for a sunday with hangovers.

I went through some 3 hours or so of mixtapes yesterday, and here’s a pick of DJ Screw. I was to lazy to find and compile stuff in a zip, so here it is on grooveshark:
Screwed playlist

The Form / Without Form / Deform (Die Form)

November 29, 2009 § 1 Comment

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Die Form – Little Boy

Please tell me this doesn’t scare the freaking shit out of you. David Lynch just got thrown into a psychotic BDSM universe where people laugh like maniacs and devour your body parts while playing yoga synthesizers. Fuck.

Will you be ready little boy?

Get ready for exposure, because this post will be massive. French Die Form formed in the late 70’s as a duo, playing cold, dark and dekadent electro-industrial music, sometimes called “darkwave”. Simply mesmerizing. The name of the project plays on the german “die Form” (the form), the english deform, and the french “difforme” (without form). Especially their early stuff sounds so insane and good, so I will keep it at that. Two more tracks from 1987 album Poupée Mécanique (of which the theme seems to be murder):

Die Form – Metaphase

Die Form – Bypass

So how does Die Form usually sound like? The music constantly surprises. They throw all kinds of sounds into the jam: the usual industrial fascination with metal and tools, or even a groovy slap-bass (dwarfing contemporary french electro acts like Justice), or the weird intermezzo of a girl laughing with insanity, or instrumental re-runs of previous tracks (like the main leitmotif of a musical coming back to haunt you). Ever wondered how the soundtrack to a BDSM sex scene would sound like? I guess something like this:

Die Form – Strange[r]

How about Kraftwerk with a hip hop beat:

Die Form – Re-search

The project seems like a labyrinth of strangeness and obscurity when first entering, and you listen through their huge discography with a feeling that every song or album contain so many hidden things, that you cannot (better not?) understand it all. For example, a reviewer said this about their album ExHuman: “Die Form send back out hybrid corpse mechanism era respiration-byte with the abolition world code-maniacs brain universe of a drug fetus”. What the fuck does he mean??? Even their fans seems to have some secret society where everybody speaks in impenetrable code.

Adding to the complexity of this project, they decided to record a whole album of …Bach. Yes, Johann Sebastian Bach, the 18th century German baroque composer. And of course in a cold, industrialized and synthetic interpretation of Bach’s classic works. Like this one.

Die Form – BWV 244-39

Die Form practice “multimedia intervention” by the way, combining sounds with performances, clubbing atmosphere, photography, visual art and cinema/video. I guess you by now realize the erotic theme going through the music. So here’s Die Form when they perform.

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Die Form myspace

Gallery of Die Form visual art

Smiling for Dogs (Holy Ghost!)

November 19, 2009 § Leave a comment

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Holy Ghost! play electronic disco with warm fussy analogue synths. It’s in the vein of their label DFA, which hosts LCD Soundsystem and Hercules and Love Affair, so that could give you a clue.

I can listen to these two tracks in infinity. No matter how dull I feel before going out on the weekend, they will force me to smile and anticipate good times (and then good times will come – I love self fulfilling prophecies!). I guess it’s the Pavlovian reflex – dog learning – that works its magic again.

Holy Ghost! – Hold On

Holy Ghost! – I Will Come Back (Classixx Acapulco Nights Version)

Ever wondered how these things come about? VBS.tv. made an interesting video from the studio of Holy Ghost! Here you can see that their music is all channelled through analogue synths and gadgets, with wires and bleeping lights everywhere. Interesting thoughts on making music too.

Much of this post is aggregated from the writings of Melbourne based Waves at Night, that find amazing stuff in general, usually with disco influences. They have a comforting metabolism for a music blog, and write posts that compliment the sounds very well (ie. recommended blog!). They just ripped a new track of Holy Ghost! through the radio (no title, but you can guess from the hook maybe?). I’m not as fancy about this track as their other stuff, but this gave me an excuse to mention Waves at Night (again, go there!)

Holy Ghost! – Untitled (radio rip)

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Holy Ghost! @ myspace

Rumours say: they will release a new album next year

Dark and cold sci-fi tunes from space, 1982

November 8, 2009 § Leave a comment

moon

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Presenting the sounds of Solid Space, a mysterious band that only released a single casette and then went away. It could be called minimal synth: these tracks characteristically just have one beat all the way through, one or two synth themes, and cold distant melodies telling sci-fi tales.

See they’re getting desperate / See their logic fade / See them panic and whisper / See their edges fray / Another planet burns out / Into thin air / We knew we would kill them, anyway / We didn’t really care /

Solid Space – Tenth Planet

Next, meet The Guests. I wonder how such a short and simple instrumental track can evoke so many strange pictures of early black and white horror films of harmless papier maché aliens trying to get you, crawling and walking in unintentional “jump cuts” because of the bad film quality? If you have completely different mental pictures, then let me know (and, sorry for imposing my own on you first!)

Solid Space – The Guests

Finishing off, I think you should get drunk or doped, then run out into the street with your friends and yell this chorus to everybody like you just created a space cult, determined to uuuuuuuuh, going to the mooooon, leaving so soooooon. Smash pop hit!

Solid Space – Destination Moon

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Unfortunately, this stuff seems to be impossible to actually buy (the original recording is a casette, not to be found in every record store me think), but the whole album can be downloaded on this great blog, dedicated to coldwave and minimal synth.

Loving Love of Diagrams

October 24, 2009 § Leave a comment

Love-Of-Diagrams_full–––

Holy delirious Didjeridoos!! Anybody wants to move to Melbourne with me? Unreliable sources have told me they have an amazing indie scene there, and now I believe them. Meet Love of Diagrams. They play energetic shoegaze, post punk and post rock, with lots of speedy instrumental passages of delicious distortion and a drummer that like to beat. They have a new album out in Australia, called Nowhere Forever, but so far we have to wait for a world wide release. Recently they have adopted influences from dream pop acts like Cocteau Twins, which just makes everything even more unbearable for me. I have gotten my hands on a couple of tracks from the new album, and it completely FLOORES me with delight!

Love of Diagrams – Lookout

Love of Diagrams – Winding

Interestingly, their first album The Target Is You was completely instrumental. Here’s one with some pointy guitars wanting your attention.

Love of Diagrams – What Are You Waiting For?

This gradual progression into vocals and dream pop sounds reminds me of the slower and moodier Danish shoegaze band Diefenbach, though they also took a slighty more complicated turn into tropic surf and a focus on really infecting pop hooks. Here’s a track from their early non-vocal stuff with a nice build up (go listen at their myspace for more recent material).

Diefenbach – I Don’t Play Fussball

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