Clocking in at only four tracks long, Bon Accord’s third release, the True Delusion EP, released just over one year ago, packs one hell of a wallop. Seemingly composed as a soundtrack to urban planning beneath a cloudless sky, it fills the wide open spaces with daydreaming colors, endless energies, and strong sentiments. Diving right into the thick of it, the EP starts off with the sugary sweet “Glazed”, a bouncy, bubbly electronic jam featuring distinctive shoegazey vocals, corny synth leads, and Pictureplane-esque electric piano. Onward, the tune “Take Comfort” takes a sharp turn downward into a loud, overly emotional nosedive, though never once forsaking the melodramatic synth leads or the self-deprecating vocalization. Tracks like this prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Hackney’s Michael Wright (Bon Accord) is truly a shoegaze artist in an electronic disguise, akin to Jatun or M83.
The fireworks really happen with the title track, though, which is featured above. Upon the first listen, the audience is fooled by the ambient intro and the gentle vocal sample, only to get whiplashed back into attention by chillwave’s version of the eponymous “wall of sound”. Saccharine as the electronics may sound, “True Delusion” is an emo masterpiece, the bass hitting hard, and the harmonizing vocals mixed perfectly. A twang or two of guitar chimes in just over halfway through before the chillgaze waves crash back into themselves all over again. A lengthy outro track, “Late”, then closes the book just as quickly as it was opened. A flashy showing of sentimental synths, prominent basslines, and ghostly vocals bring Bon Accord’s True Delusion EP to a slow-coming close. Beneath the surface of the whiz-bang-pow effect of this tragically short release is an aching heart that thankfully still has enough adrenaline to get up and make music. The best part of this brilliant collection of electronic music? It’s entirely free. Do tha right thing, and grab your free copy of Bon Accord’s True Delusion EP, my fifth favorite release this past year, at his Bandcamp page. See if its digital strains don’t inspire some heavy hearts and lumpy throats within your social circle.
The above official video for Pictureplane’s “Post Physical” is a perfect representation of this bizarro chillwaver’s typical fare. Directed by MENZ, the short film is bursting with decayed magnetic footage, primitive early 90’s CGI, and two disturbingly endearing mind-body transformations. The tone and pace of the jam, one of a few of the singles released in advance of the album, is definitive of the overall upgrade in passion and focus that comes with Pictureplane’s most recent full-length. On July 19th of last year, just two weeks after Com Truise’s new one hit stores, Thee Physical, via Lovepump United, appears to have largely eschewed the noisier half of Pictureplane’s antics. Created with much assistance from fellow scuzz-house band HEALTH, you can expect more mature-sounding vocals, steadier but slower beats, and thicker, fuller electronic instrumentation. In short, Thee Physical retains all of the popwise, psychedelic, rave-esque techniques that Travis Egedy has a penchant for, while at the same time casting off much of the thin and tinny experimentation that went on during the (albeit quite good) Dark Rift, granting him some fame on Pitchfork.
Loosely conceptual, the album plays like some sort of garish crystal healing praise and worship session, all dated electric piano key stabs and breathy, life-affirming inspirational rants. Other notable tunes present in the collection include the empathic plea that is “Real Is a Feeling”, the bouncy counter-culture theme “Body Mod”, and “Thee Power Hand”, a brain-stabbingly apocalyptic space station elevator track. All of the songs contained therein are, of course, adorned heavily with the industrial flair and soulful samples that we’ve come to expect from Mr. Egedy’s eccentric work. The album seems at times like a sensual DIY examination of the gamut of relationships man can possibly have with aliens, gods, or machines. Thee Physical is a refined step up from his prior repertoire, and it definitely marked a high point in this past year’s pack of releases. We are proud to count this album among our personal favorites of the past year’s worth of material, and we urge you to do tha right thing and delve into the bizarrely extraterrestrial side of Pictureplane’s latest opus by purchasing the album through iTunes, Amazon, or Lovepump United.
This sugary sweet throwback to the pixellated mid-nineties by Unicorn Kid belongs on your playlist. Unicorn Kid is a Scottish electro producer, so he’s definitely not Asian, but he must be a huge fan of the whole gothic Lolita-cum-cyberpunk cosplay culture, due to the aesthetic with which he seems to associate himself. Pictureplane-esque electric piano supports a lead synth melody that sounds like it was pulled straight from the Donkey Kong Country soundtrack. Towards the end of the jam, ghostly vocal samples drift in and out amongst tropical steel drums, digital glitter, and a passionate reprise. Also, those of you who are following the ironic comeback of ironically awful-sounding nineties techno music being channeled by ironic artists such as Casa del Mirto and Pictureplane will enjoy dancing to the four on the floor drumroll featured early on in the track. Fans of 1990 or Southern Shores will appreciate the retro Balearic vibe present in “Pure Space”, and I highly recommend the free download here via his Soundcloud. The track is both an unofficial single and a sneak peek of Unicorn Kid’s upcoming debut full-length which is due out sometime before year’s end via 3beat. Also, since this is my first exposure to his music, unfortunately I can’t recommend any more good tunes by the guy, but stay tuned after the jump for a trip down memory lane!
Grimes is a pretty well known and oft-traded name among hipsters and non-hipsters alike, bringing to mind the genre-spanning allure of artists and groups like Fever Ray and †††. While sporting nearly every self-fulfilled prophecy of the Pictureplane-spawned witch house movement, Montreal’s own Claire Boucher (Grimes) nonetheless seems to weild the ability to not only churn out dark, moody synth music but to appeal to a widespread audience (always a marketing plus). My newest musical find, POLY, so far has been a reasonably good source for the latest and the greatest in hip audio art, and this Ryan Hemsworthremix of Grimes’ “Genesis” (featured on POLY Selections #8) is a perfect manifestation of all that is good about the primarily female-driven genre of witch house. A sub-genre of chillwave/glo-fi jokingly created by Travis Egedy, witch house has gone on to become a very serious musical movement, yet is unfortunately still haunted at times by kitsch. As before mentioned, even Chino Moreno has jumped on the bandwagon. Either way, though, the dissonant noise coupled with the creepy, bleary-eyed delivery has a strangely 80’s goth effect that I find altogether somewhat appealing, as long as the campiness is held at bay. It’s much like the hypothetical love child of Xiu Xiu’s awkward cacophony and Warm Ghost’s dark retro vibes. This particularly ill remix, however fleshes out and punches up the original to great effect, in my opinion, featuring Deniro Farrar’s rhymes and a Krusht-esque R&B treatment. Do tha right thing, and check out Ryan Hemsworth’s remix of Grimes’ “Genesis”, and perhaps go on to discover more about Grimes, Ryan Hemsworth, POLY, or even just witch house in general. Sidebar, your honor: I just love how creepy as fuck the album artwork for Visions is!
Straight outta the Rhinoceropolis, my main man Pictureplane just dropped a remix album’s worth of great retouches to his most recent full length offering Thee Physical. Every artist featured on Dimensional Rip 7: Thee Physical Remixeswas hand-picked by Travis Egedy, and it is available in its entirety for free via DIS Magazine. As is the norm for remix albums, there’s a lot of chaff to winnow out, namely a bunch of witch house and trance. That said, that may be right up your alley, so I’m sure there’s something for everybody here.
Some of the standouts, in my opinion, include Krusht’s chopped and screwed mod of “Body Mod”, Teams’ electrificied re-animation of the same jam, and a noisier remix by True Womanhood. New found faves include some stellar offerings by Fire for Effect and Little Star Dweller. The album is vast, expansive, and beautiful; so do tha right thing and grab it here, and then devote a reasonable amount of time to evaluating and re-evaluating the content yourself.
“Last night I went out for dinner with my family. As we were being seated, I happened to see a very curious tweet by Pictureplane: a ten digit phone number. Without hesitation, I called. Two rings later, and I’m on the phone with Travis Egedy. He informs me that I am the 69th caller, and that I have just won the sweepstakes. I jumped up from my seat and awkwardly speed walked out of the restaurant. My reaction to this news was quite giddy. I developed a small crush after attending his show at Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin this past November! Anywayzz…he went on to tell me that I would be receiving a package that consisted of the following: two Pictureplane T-shirts, something with an ‘a’ in a circle (couldn’t quite make him out due to a passing car), a set of fingerless leather gloves, and something containing pornographic images; I believe he mentioned sodomy. He then let me in on the catch: I had to compose a very specific email. In this email I would need a copy of my ID to confirm that I was of age, my name written in cursive, and a picture of my ‘favorite wind chimes’ edited so that they appeared ‘curvaceous’. Oh, and at the top of the email I had to write ‘sweepstakes’ very anti-grammatically: ‘SSVV33qSSt (indecisive smiley face representing letter “a”) KKK3SS’. Oh and the ‘t’ had to be a cross. I successfully composed the email, sent it on its way, then double checked it, only to find that the pictures weren’t showing up. I was pissed. I haven’t heard anything from him since the call, and I don’t anticipate any further communication. He’s a pretty busy man it seems, but not busy enough to keep his digitz away from all Twitter/FB followers. I asked him why he did it, his response was simple enough: ‘I love my fans’. He said real is a feeling right before he hung up.”
Thanks for the kick ass story, “Jessica”! Boy, am I jealous of your close encounter! Errbody else, do tha right thing, and subscribe to Pictureplane’s Twitter and support his innovative work in the music scene. Two free MP3 downloads from his most recent major release, “Thee Physical”, after the curvaceous wind chimes.
“The bombastic emotion of the original Stevie Nicks vocal, even here, tweaked to an inch of its life, feels completely real. Surrounding the sample is a huge, glittery, lurching groove, basically commanding you to fall into line behind it” — Pitchfork
“His pealing synthesizers reveal an artist who’s logged many hours immersed in Vangelis’ sound-world for ‘Blade Runner’, while his shuddering beats are unrepentantly nostalgic for the glory days of ’80s electro-funk — as heard through lysergic, rose-tinted headphones.” — Rhapsody
No, this post is not about a Fleetwood Mac song. Listen closely, and within the very first few seconds, you’ll notice heavy similarities between this song and a song I’ve referenced countless times on this blog. Fleetwood Mac’s “Seven Wonders” is heavily sampled by Pictureplane in his landmark rave jam “Goth Star”, from 2009’s “Dark Rift”. Unfortunately, while Pictureplane has a remarkable ability to fuck things up for the better, the original song is what makes “Goth Star” such a kickass anthem. Mildly buzzkilling, but then again who doesn’t sample these days? Visit Whosampled to “explore and discuss the DNA of music”, and also for a really neat resource to determine what was sampled in some of your favorite retro chillwave tunes.
Rumored to be created with much assistance from fellow scuzz-house band HEALTH, if the majority of the album is akin to “Real Is a Feeling”, I believe that we can expect more mature-sounding vocals, steadier but slower beats, and thicker, fuller electronic instrumentation.In short, it sounds like “Thee Physical” will retain all of the popwise, psychedelic, rave-esque techniques that Travis Egedy has a penchant for, while at the same time casting off much of the thin and tinny experimentation that went on during the (albeit quite good) debut “Dark Rift”. Keep your eyes and ears peeled this July, ‘cause the shit’s about to hit the fan, son! Also, as a side note, if you tweet, you should really follow Pictureplane’s Twitter. The guy says the funniest shit.