New YorkerStout Cortez needs to release more music. That’s all there is to it. This bombastic chillwave jam from earlier this year hearkens back to the early days when Animal Collective and their “My Girls” destroyed indie rock with their synth-heavy noise and psychedelia, giving birth to a while slew of imitators. Vocal chants and an atypical time signature (à la Gauntlet Hair) fiercely punctuate raving synth leads seemingly taken right out of a Cold Cave tune. The most surprising thing about “Berliner” is that it’s a one-off single, the sole offering populating a desolate Bandcamp page. The indie rock sensibilities and the clean production in the track juxtapose quite nicely with the intentional peaking and reverb and the messy, almost primitive vibe. The triumphant mammalian choir in “Berliner” makes the track what it is: an anthemic indietronic single along the lines of chillwave’s early vanguards, and it desperately needs further exposure. Do tha right thing, and grab a free MP3 download of Stout Cortez’s “Berliner” above, and be sure to do whatever is in your collective power to convince Justin Hunter Scott to create more legit bangers. We’re officially crowdsourcing this shit.
Featuring bedroom chillwave artist Pepepiano on synth and drums, this indietronic single by Bon Chat Bon Rat is like a clean vanilla indie rock jam thrown into a warped electronic whirl. Falsetto vocals melt over pulsing digital beats, all amidst the many synth sounds and noises that punctuate last March’s “Dust Proud” at regular intervals, like biological by-products of the electronic machines in use. Part Animal Collective-esque DIY rock, and part laptop-induced FXsplosions, the tune maintains a subtle aura of stiff-lipped yearning, manifested clearest by the yowling refrain towards the track’s end, but also made evident with the use of dark, foreboding rhythm synth and frantically plucked guitar parts near the interlude. Akin to how we imagine a Prefuse 73 take on a My Morning Jacket song would appear, Pepepiano’s involvement with Reece Cooper and Russel Smith (Bon Chat Bon Rat) in “Dust Proud” results in a reckless, but nonetheless driving tempo, in addition to a quirky and scattered, but very colorful sonic vibe. The footage in the above featured video is by Australian director Alex Ryan, and we feel that it perfectly matches the tune’s messy, dancey tone. Do tha right thing, and give Bon Chat Bon Rat’s “Dust Proud” a download. See what you think, and support the work of both respective artists by purchasing their releases or merch if you like the experience.
Australian neo-R&B duo Collarbones has a new album due out on the 28th of September that is also going to be a short film, much like Animal Collective’s “ODDSAC” was a couple of years ago, except not an experimental art film. Collarbones’ short, punchy Beaman Park EP was pretty legit, but we’re out of the loop and haven’t heard their debut album yet (whoops). Nonetheless, we casually had them on up our radar until they released “Hypothermia” on August 28th, and then we subsequently saw the trailer that was released for the upcoming full-length, entitled Die Young.
Marcus Whale and Travis Cook (Collarbones) are really taking their synth-heavy chillwaving to the next level, M83 style. “Hypothermia”, featuring vocalist Guerre, is pitch-shifted into oblivion, making for a melodramatic, overly emotional jam that puts it on par with Bon Accord’s output in our book. Beats take center stage during the defacto chorus, punctuated perfectly with Guerre’s smooth, suave delivery and those shivering, heart-rending vocal snippets. We are head over heels excited about seeing this new film/album by Collarbones, and if it all sounds anything like “Hypothermia”, it’ll likely rank quite high on our albums of the year list that comes out each summer. Written in 2011 and boasting teenage ghosts and adolescent naiveté, Die Young was shot in Sweden by Paris-based director Michael Salerno. Do tha right thing, and grab a free download of this hard-hitting single from the upcoming album by Collarbones, and be on the lookout for the film Die Young.
In this intrepid rework that I just discovered via LYFSTYL’s latest mix, Brooklyn remix artist Phaseone gives an innovative new spin to one of the many staples of Animal Collective’s seminal full-length Merriweather Post Pavilion. Much of the manic noodling prevalent in the original composition is corralled by an exotic beat that also complements the melody quite effectively. It is always refreshing to hear how subtle changes in the pace and pitch of a classic chillwave jam can effect such a profoundly different mood, without sounding laborious or overwrought, but instead intensifying the original mix. Phaseone is a professional remixer, that’s for sure. Do tha right thing, and enjoy this lush, beat-heavy re-imagining, along with another entry, originally by Nite Jewel. Check out the rest of Phaseone’s repertoire at his Soundcloud, if you’d like to support this artist or simply hear more.
Whilst listening to a Flux-Rad mixtape, this song jumped right out at me. Pepepiano’s “No Way” is featured on his mini-album “Babes”, available at your choice of price via Bandcamp. Reminiscent of a more whimsical Animal Collective (if you can believe such a thing can exist), Pepepiano literally just started making music available to the internets. Along with that iconic hipsteriffic nostalgic retro feel, Pepepiano sneaks in a new ingredient: the future, with all of its technological and cultural allure. Akin to the sci-fi obsession in the 1950’s, listening to a Pepepiano release feels like listening to a labor-saving device, a juicier, happier Ray Bradbury short story (if you can believe such a thing can exist).
Visit Pepepiano’s Bandcamp for a full-length, a couple of EPs, and an assortment of singles and remixes, or drop by his Soundcloud to stream or download individual tracks. While the majority of it is all free, be an entrepreneur and buy some stock in Pepepiano’s music. It may only be a small step for you, but it’s one giant leap for Pepepiano, so do tha right thing!
Today, I’d like to showcase another fledgling chillwave artist: Golden Ages. Despite his smooth, colorful rhythms that often purposely peak, Golden Ages hasn’t seemed to have made it that far. Despite the fact that he is written off frequently as Animal Collective’s most passionate copycat, it surprises me that Golden Ages doesn’t have a more devoted following. Though reminiscent of the aforementioned seminal experimental band, Golden Ages’ take on the jams lends it a more exotic, “beachier” sound, if you will. Not so much the “surfin shit”, as John Milner in Lucas’ American Graffiti so eloquently opined, but more like the nonexistent soundtrack to la Boca del Cielo of “Y Tu Mamá También“s (non-)fame.
When it comes down to it, though, even if the boy is just emulating Th’ Collectives’ modus operandi, he does a damn good job of it. Give yourself two extra hipster points and check out Golden Ages’ Bandcamp. Stream or download either his “Africa EP” or his full-length “Tradition” for free or for a price of your choice. I’d say the man deserves some payment for his pain, but I’ll leave that up to you, listener. Just do tha right thing!
Keith Canisius has been making music for a while now, having already released five full-length albums (four solo, one with the band Rumskib). From the very beginning, Keith has had a handle on what makes shoegaze music beautiful: the ability to take strong human emotions and send them into overdrive. No stranger to electronics, as he has often collaborated with Jonas Munk (Manual), recently, Mr. Canisius’ art has taken a decidedly chillwave-esque direction, akin to Panda Bear or Animal Collective on ecstasy. That said, his most recent outing has been “The Oceanic Voyage”, a release of B-sides from 2006 to 2009. To the seasoned Keith listener, “Voyage” may be unfamiliar territory, as the direction of the collection is far more sparse and ambient than the instrumental segues from earlier albums. This should not dissuade fans of shoegaze or post-rock, though, as the dark pallet of ocean tones Mr. Canisius uses to paint such somber and restful images go down like a splash of salt water to the face: warm and relaxing. For fans of Auburn Lull, Destroyalldreamers, and Windy & Carl, go grab a copy of “The Oceanic Voyage” at http://darla.com.
STANDOUTS: “The Oceanic Voyage”, “Rainbow Moment”, “Ocean Colors”