Monday, November 23, 2009

meat whiplash

Hey, just a quick reminder to tune-in to Meat Whiplash on WVUM this Tuesday, 8-10PM. That's tomorrow or today or yesterday (next week?) depending on when you're reading this. WVUM (that's 90.5, you know) has a lot of great programs that play electro, indie and assorted dance music, but Meat Whiplash seems to be the only one that plays psych, no wave, and assorted weird rock. Definitely worth checking out if you're looking to give up control of your ears for a little while and fancy your distortion thick and relentless.

8-10PM : Every Tuesday : Stream it here (upper right hand corner)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Circuitree / Flash Drive

Electronic music connoisseurs Circuitree will be hosting the inaugural edition of their flagship showcase, Flash Drive, this Friday @ Harvey's By The Bay aka the American Legion. All pertinent details are listed on the above flyer and at the event's Facebook page. And while all of the artists are neck deep in digital, the line-up looks excitingly diverse. Be sure to bring an actual flash drive if you're interested in getting ahold of an array of electronic giveaways that will be available.

In honor of Flash Drive #1, let's take a look at two brand new Circuitree releases.

jacque polynice - strangelet value

This is a split release with electronic music staple Schematic, their first in quite some time. Strangelet Value is smooth from top to bottom. Circuitree even calls it "creamy" on their website ("the creamiest," actually) and that works too. Reminiscent of Dilla and Madlib in that it's got a post-hip-hop sensibility (slick beats reigning in ambient exploration) but even further away from the source (rap music) than either of those guys ever go. Circuitree sells this as resonating with previous incarnations of IDM and we don't really know shit about that, but, yeah, this is twitchier than hip-hop instrumentals. And it sure is pleasant. Seems like Jacques is a bit of a multi-instrumentalist, pairing fluttering trumpet and piano melodies with no-nonsense drum machine and all sorts of warm synthesizer action.

nived-n-hydro - crow kids

An overall more hectic experience than Strangelet Value, Nived-N-Hydro's debut CD-EP Crow Kids documents a running dialogue between producer Hydroplane and MC Nived3rdEyeMonster. Neither the raps nor the instrumentals are platforms for the other, but are instead engaged in a bit of musical give and take. Hydroplane flexes his glitch-pop pedigree and Nived matches the generally spastic audio with a creeping, slithery, well-pronounced cadence that it isn't quite thug, nerd, backpacker or, really, anywhere on the existing contiuum of hip-hop vocalists. All the synthetic bells and whistles get pulled out and a couple numbers ("Shooting Star" in particular) seem to take a (well appreciated on our end) page from straight up pop music.

And what attractive art on both of these discs! Both are courtesy of Madeira Projects. Gotta appreciate the slip cases in lieu of jewel cases too. Nice work, Circuitree. Looking forward to this Friday.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Roofless In-Store @ Sweat (11/14)

thank you Lolo + Jason @ Sweat for hosting, thank you bands for providing a series of worthy spectacles, thank you audience for you-know-what

all photos by Dana B.

Space Voodoo Crystal
space voodoo crystal

Space Voodoo Crystal
space voodoo crystal

Stead and His Larson
stead and his larson

Skunk Ape
skunk ape

Self & Other
self & other

Self & Other
self & other

Friday, November 13, 2009

tomorrow @ Sweat Records

Saturday, November 14 2009
Sweat Records / 5505 NE 2nd Ave
8 PM SHARP - $3

performing live

Two piece (guitar, bass, drums, effects), improvisation, composition, shoegaze, noise, first show in Miami since their tour of the United States and Canada, first show in Miami ever.

All hail the dawn of swamp music: powerful, bludgeoning, methodical, doom-laden, lungs filled with marsh and moss

True blue punk rock karaoke. Sing along and maybe you can get them to play your Bar Mitzvah. The history of North American pop music ends here. Or is this just the beginning?

Indigo child hip-hop for the new wave of neon thugs and gangsta hippies. Freestyles and live instrumentation. 2012 can't come soon enough.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

new cassettes

A nice little pile of recently released tapes have stacked up here at Roofless HQ. They're all worth listening to, purchasing and even writing about.

s2k - Head Cleaner HC-1
s2k - head cleaner HC-1

S2K is less a "one man band" than a true mad scientist. We'll also accept eccentric sorcerer and - real talk - genius. An avant/noise formalist, his legit cacophony is founded upon an arsenal of homemade gadgets and mind-bending/endurance-testing parameters. An illuminative example would be his recent set at the 2009 edition of Bloodfest (as presented by Kinky Noise and Ted Records, and pictured below), during which he generated audio from triggers hooked to muscles. Apparently, each sound came with a corresponding shock to his torso. So there's your background/context. Head Cleaner is S2's first "widely available" release and is a tracklist-less collection of excerpts from a marathon 9 hour keyboard/homebrewed 'tronix jam sesh with himself. The editing gives the sequencing a creative cut-up / collage effect for the expansive spectrum of styles collected therein. Blasts of static give way to gurgles which give way to buried, damaged nearly-dance-music, and then every now and then there are waves of friendly/melancholy keyboard melody. There's a clipping that runs throughout that often acts as an effective means of percussion and also seems to be connected to various effects turning on and off. Head Cleaner comes off as a bludgeoning sequence of (sometimes rambling, sometimes startlingly brief) non-sequitors (especially at first) but as the tape progresses it starts to sound like certain excerpts may have been dispersed throughout the sequencing of the tape, adding a compositional cohesion. Who else but Cephia's Treat would release something this ahead of the game?

s2k live @ bloodfest 2009 / photo by carson cox

white moth - journey of the magi
white moth - journey of the magi

Next up we've got twin cassettes from White Moth,a Miami-based one-man powerful electronics act. The first tape, Journey of the Magi (pictured above) is short, sweet and dynamic. The A-side opens with a loop and cleverly timed blast of hot white noise. This fades into an ostensible "track 2" comprised of what sounds like field recordings of some sort (knives being sharpened, a bag of pebbles or marbles being shook) processed/looped/reverbed. Cool. Definitely over before you're ready for it to be, which is a good thing. Onto Side B, which progresses with stately, layered poise: train tunnel echo action gets smothered beneath some righteous churn-fuzz both of which fall victim to a heavy, menacing, industrial drum track. One pay-off after another.

white moth - (untitled)
white moth - untitled

The second tape has no title but the sides do - "Denial" and "Exempt." Each opens with a chewy synth drone that becomes the foundation for a gradually assembled sonic tower of static, screeching, undulating tones and distant spoken vocals. Between these two brief cassettes (5 minutes a side?) you get a wider sample of industrial-styled noise than is often released on whole record labels dedicated to this sort of thing, so we're excited to see what White Moth will do next.

dino felipe
dino felipe - onhcet

This Dino Felipie cassette sounds like cotton candy compared to those last 3, but it's still not the sort of thing you want to bust out at family gatherings; best to save it for the cool Uncle who was getting skeezy in the Bowery circa 197whatever. Onhcet displays the brilliant schizophrenia of Dino's No Fun Demo: both albums sound like compilations rather than material by the same artist. In the grab bag: colorful/warm drones (as opposed to White Moth's blasts of sewer stench), blown out rock/pop (mostly what we've seen him perform live), synth heavy echo dreams and noisier mumblers that sound like spooked out versions of some of his Schematic material. Another excellent release from Miami's Senzei. Speaking of which, if you haven't picked up the masterful new Teepee LP yet, you better hustle as they're going fast.

Monday, November 9, 2009

DRACULA live @ The Firefly (11/8/09)

text and audio provided by Dana B.

The following is a live recording of Dracula from a show last night at the Firefly. The band is comprised of Dorys (Softmonster) and Eli (Space Voodoo Crystal) on vocals (he also plays acoustic guitar), and Kian (Rare Fruit & Space Voodoo Crystal) on saw. On Señora Santana, Eli played a small harp and Kian played a cool instrument that I don’t know the name of. This was Kian’s debut performance with the group, and his accompaniment was spot on regardless of having never rehearsed.

They have only played two or three shows.

They cover folk songs. (I guess Keith Sweat’s Nobody is now an American folk song)

This was recorded on Sunday, Nov. 8, 2009 in the play space at the Firefly on my cell phone (technology continually rules).

[Can't get enough of this recording. This is beautiful acoustic music in the style of Vashti Bunyan (maybe a little sparser) and others like her, and the lo-fi recording adds to the delicate charm. Listen to those voices and listen to them harmonizing with that saw. Also, Eli doesn't have any effects on his vocals...he's creating that dub echo on his own. The Alice in Wonderland cover breaks our heart, as does the occasional chuckling and cheering. -Ed.]

Dracula - Live @ The Firefly (11/8/09)

P.S. That Rare Fruit demo we uploaded a few weeks back expired, so we put up a fresh link.

P.P.S. And here's the Space Voodoo Crystal demo. A little outdated (no Kami on freestyles) but solid nonetheless.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

show @ American Legion (11/7/09)

There seems to be a major influx of garage rock these days. In a few years will we look back and decide this particular period of lo-fi constituted a "wave?" Are we looking at the new grunge? Probably not, especially since radio rock hasn't progressed past post-Pearl Jam (post-Creed?) thickneck rock for the past ten years. (A quick aside: why the stark disparity in quality between radio hip-hop/r&b and radio rock? Although all non-satellite stations have agonizingly redundant playlists, a lot of what they've been playing the last few years has been pretty innovative, dare we say 'experimental,' particularly in the realm of production. There's some heavy shit going on in those Rick Ross and Gucci Mane singles. Don't get us started on The-Dream. What was the last aesthetically notable rock band that got any commercial airplay? Nirvana? Jesus, is the answer Radiohead? We've been stuck in a pit of the aforementioned jock-gurgle-rock and nth generation "pop-punk" / "emo" for what seems like forever.) So you're not going to hear Wavves or The Vivian Girls outside of college stations anytime soon, but it is safe to say that nu-garage is a dominant paradigm of contemporary indie rock. This is a double-edged sword. The negative: like any trend, you end up with a lot of compositional complacency / fill-in-the-blank technique / straight up generic output. The positive (the direct response to the negative): the more creative members of "the scene" take the opportunity to expand on concepts and themes in a way that almost entirely reinvents the prompt at hand. And hey, at least it's not "Tropical."

Last night Yussuf Jerusalem stopped by The American Legion for an evening of blasted eardrums, chain smoking and bands playing in near total darkness. The line-up featured some heavy hitters from Miami's version of the garage explosion.

Before we get to the actual show, it's worth emphasizing once more what an exciting venue The Legion is. So much space to hang, the backyard is huge and right on the water, the drinks are cheap, the acoustics are right-on. This place is perfect and it's existence will be a continued experiment to see if Miami can sustain "nice things" that aren't clubs (not that there's anything wrong with those, but outside of Churchill's we don't have a whole lot of options that feature live music as the primary attraction).

This Heart Electric
This Heart Electric

Melted Sunglasses
Melted Sunglasses

This Heart Electric got the crowd warmed up with pop histrionics and Melted Sunglasses kicked off the evening's garage buffet. Word from the members was their set consisted of primarily (or maybe entirely) new material. Their style was strikingly heavy, a blend of chunky 70s-style proto-punk and knuckle-dragging bar rock swagger. The latter influence was particularly effective as rendered through the bassist's rock and roll sex falsetto, often paired in call-and-response fashion with the guitarist's more straightforward shouts and hollers.

Jacuzzi Boys
After a few minutes of cacophonous, crowd-amping warm-up/tuning the singer of Jacuzzi Boys started their set with a bold declaration: "I'm fucking ripped and hope all of you are too." What followed was an appropriately raucous set complete with what looked to be a bonafide pogo pit. A lot of nu-garage bands are described as "post-Velvets" but the Jacuzzi Boys are decidedly post-Stooge. And we're talking Funhouse, none of that "Iggy and..." bullshit (OK, Raw Power is a good record, but the soft focus Bowie production drains the nasty oomph that made the first two LPs actually raw ) High energy, dirty buzzsaw riffs and raunchy solos, the Jacuzzi Boys, on the heals of a new LP on Florida's Dying, killed it.

Yussuf Jerusalem

Yussuf Jerusalem, the second rock and roll band from France to make it to Miami this fall, played a relatively straightforward rock set that every now and then dipped into bizarre and exciting interludes of heavy (almost metal/hardcore?) pummeling.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Teepee - "Morals" LP

Morals, the debut LP by Miami’s lo-fi wunderkind Teepee, is good, real good. Maybe too good. OK, there’s no such thing as too good, but if there were, this record might be it. We’ve had our eyes and ears perked ever since we saw him open for Sonic Chicken 4 a couple months back. The plot thickened when we realized the project was full of curveballs, including totally frenzied free-psych jam seshes with the help of Xela Zaid and Temple of Bon Matin’s Ed Wilcox. A little research revealed releases on Florida’s Dying (a likely suspect) and Night People, as well as collaborations with Rat Bastard and Pink Reason, AND his own record label by the name of Senzei(that new Dino Felipe tape is worth picking up, more on that later).

Morals is Senzei 03 and its release late in the year really fucks up our tentative “Best Of…” lists. The diversity we’ve come to appreciate from the Teepee live show is all over this brisk full length, but expert composition and sequencing keep the affair an overall cohesive statement. The crux of this record is the unity of analog and digital sources as streamed through one sonic vision. Strong guitar melodies are almost always paired with soaring synthetic drones and subtle/well-orchestrated digital details and accents. Every song lasts for the perfect amount of time.

“Subconcious” starts the record with an aural blast of color, a pleasant throbbing pulse that sounds like the sonic equivalent to seeing trails. It’s a really great opener, in part because it gets the listener acquainted with the thick, dripping reverb this album is completely soaked in. Dude can rock and dude can supply some sentimental melody, and all of it sounds like it's in a cavern in a tunnel in the glorious dark. But - and this is important - none of it sounds like shit. Every bit of echo and fuzz is deliberate and demonstrates a wide skill-set pertaining not only to songwriting but also home recording. This would always mean a lot but in the current wave of garage oversaturation it’s especially refreshing to see a break from formulaic lazy-fi rock n roll.

“Your Majesty” is a nice synth ballad wedged between a pair of drum machine driven rockers “Tecum Uman” and “I Told You So!” The latter is a devastatingly classic sounding number with a totally timeless (simultaneously dated in a “90s” indie-rock sort of way) riff that calls to mind television theme songs (Kids In The Hall and Pete + Pete are good reference points, but this is ultimately way hazier) that already sounded nostalgic the first time you heard them. And that’s before you even get to the bridge, which actually makes the guitar sound like it’s glowing. There are some strong acoustic numbers: The chords in “Phillipines” resonates with “Unplugged” Nirvana, until the fantastic finger-picked harmony kicks in alongside a chanted reverb-mantra and the whole thing starts to sound like om-bliss garage rock folk music. “Satisfied” is a more than pleasant strummer with some warm drones and heart next to the title on the back of the LP, alluding to the possible influence for such a nice tune. The closer, “It’s Not My Fault” is the album's most straightforward song: Teepee sits before you naked, playing an unprocessed acoustic guitar and singing for the only time on the entire record with no effects on his vocals.

“Morals” gets noisy too: “Yes You Khan Bismillah” overflows with dense jungle drones and building, pounding percussion. It’s the most ethereal track until you get to “No Man’s Land” which should fill your quota for ominous psychedelia. It’s definitely the darkest song on the record and calls to mind running around in the woods, sweating, the sound of your own thoughts producing an infinitely refracting echo.

We might have done Teepee a great disservice by opening this piece by calling him “lo-fi” because, like we mentioned earlier, this LP is crisp and clear, which makes all of the echo and fuzz that much more successful. The deliberateness, intentionality and sheer level of craft that went into the composition and production of this record is remarkable.

Ordering info: here

If you live in South Florida, Sweat Records definitely has copies of this and we bet Radio-Active Records does too.