Sunday, October 11, 2009

photo by sandy heyaime

BFGF uploaded their demo and while it can't recreate the total package of their live show, it's still pretty good. 12 tracks, too (thick "demo"). The instrumentals are cold/tinny, and feature just the right amount of the glitch-twitch accents that electro inherited from house (and techno in general) without ever becoming frantic or tweaked. It's "dark" but not glum or sinister, more in that way everything looks cooler at night. The vocals switch off between (and sometimes meld) the breathy/reverb-laden approach of freestyle (and even some of the new "Italo"-influenced groups), and a bit of MC/hypewoman talk-rap. It's annoying to read a band description that just lists genres and BFGF do a good job of making one talk around genre: a little of this, a little of that. You can sometimes even hear some skinny tie-new wave: imagine "Dirty Dancing" or "City Girl" redone by a rock band armed with a keyboard. Wish we didn't have to pick a favorite track, but "The Sweetheart" leaves no choice. Great initial build up, lyrics (I'm in love/lie to me/you're in love/lie to me/what is love/baby?) and, also, pretty obsessed with the higher pitched synth that opens the track and runs through its entirety as key mutating melody.

On the total opposite end of the sonic universe, the new Halflings LP on RRRecords is charmingly brutal. Every genre has pitfalls and trap corners. "Power electronics" can be boring, predictable and obvious in its harshness and accompanying masculine/provocative posturing (a certain act that opened for Wolf Eyes @ Will's Pub in 2005 comes to mind...sorta one big dick-waggling feedback temper tantrum...which might sound awesome written out like that, but it was kind of embarrassing to watch). As Self-Esteem demonstrates, power electronics can also be crafty and dynamic. These dudes are working with a large sonic palette in their assault. The violent drones and damaged blasts at hand draw from a variety of textures. This isn't just a wall of cacophony and while a wall of cacophony is sometimes what you want, it's also interesting to hear abrasive abstraction that sounds so composed (as "Source" progresses it sounds more and more like a house being consumed by flames). The vocals are treated with a variety of effects on each track, giving the listener a wide range of dinosaurs to imagine roaring/shrieking at the mic.

That video of them above is from Breathmint's extensive video archive on Vimeo. If you're looking for a serious way to lose some hours, this is your ticket. Below are some favorites from the vault.

Oh boy, when the "heavy part" kicks in on this next one...

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