Archive for the ‘Song Reviews’ Category

Interviews

Song Premier & Questions For Footpaths


 

Jon Rosenthal is a busy dude. He’s made harsh and heavy music with Venowl, Stellar Descent, and Ævangelist, and drone folk with Eitarnora. He’s also a big curmudgeon in the metal scene, a contributor to Decibel, a Pandora playlist curator, and the associate editor for Invisible Oranges, where he’s interviewed some of the most well-respected and enigmatic artists like Paysage d’Hiver, Nortt, Reverorum ib Malacht, and Elysian Blaze.

Footpaths is similar to Eitarnora but Footpaths leans more on the haunted drone than on the dusty folk and this is a solo outlet where he gets to be himself and let loose a deluge of somber sadness. He’s got a new one called Old Timer (Lost and Reclaimed) coming out in August on Montículo Creadores. Rosenthal has been steadily releasing material as Footpaths since his first split with Bunrage in 2010 and this new one is actually the first material he ever recorded under the Footpaths moniker back in 2009, and it’s a fucking winner. Easily some of the best drone I’ve heard this year. 22 short slices of mind-numbing Americana drone, broken memories caught in a locked groove that glisten and shimmer behind an overgrown thicket, with fog swirling around, clouding your view until you can only focus on that one discernible moment, Old Timer meets up somewhere between an ’80s dream pop downer and the new wave of guitar soli, then gets washed out and dragged like chum through freshwater.

You can check out the premier stream of the 21st untitled track on Old Timer below, then snag a pre-order of the digital version via Montículo Creadores, or wait until Rosenthal gets more copies of the super limited (as in, only 25) tape at a later date. Also, Footpaths will have some new new music (not an archival release) coming out sometime this Fall, which I’m pretty fuckin excited about, so definitely keep an eye out for that stuff.

And to celebrate this premier, Jon was kind enough to participate in my Q&A series.

 

 

What is an ideal death?
I used to think solitude would be nice — far away from loved ones and the noise of modern life — but, after bearing witness to a handful of deaths at this point, being surrounded by people who truly care about you has much more meaning than the misanthropic self-importance of being alone. We might be animals, but we lack the “flight in death” instinct, probably with reason. We don’t need to be alone.

 

What makes you happy?
My loved ones, my cat, my guitar, my records and tapes, and actually feeling the drive to write and record music. The latter grows more infrequent over the last six years, which is sad. The feeling of creativity.

 

How close have you come to death?
Who knows. I’ve been under so many different sedatives in the various surgeries to which I’ve been subjected during my life that I could have very possibly died multiple times. Car accidents happen, random accidents with sharp glass, and so on. You’d be surprised how often you mindlessly save yourself from the inevitable.

 

How can you make your life better?
Find balance. Finish graduate school, get a job, leave work at work, go places with my girlfriend, find a nice place to live, make life good for my cat (Marge).

 

What does kindness mean to you?
Kindness is humbling. I didn’t receive much outside recognition nor was part of many happy interactions when I was younger, so being on the receiving end of any sort of kindness is… humanizing (?) as an adult. It is a good feeling — makes me feel like a fellow person instead of some outside entity.

 

Where do you find love?
In those who love me back, or those who make me feel both extremes of the emotional spectrum.

In the people who mean the most to me. I could say “music,” but, in the end, my music collection is just a big room of “things.” “Things” can’t love you.

 

When were you most afraid?
A little over three years ago. I didn’t sleep, didn’t eat, couldn’t listen to music nor podcasts. My relationship died. I drank. A lot. I lost twenty pounds, and I’m not a large person. It was the worst six months of my life.

 

How do you listen to music?
Alone and with friends. The latter has become more frequent and the former the opposite. Music is something to be shared. I spend my personal time watching films and bad TV. Music has become commonplace and boring lately. Maybe it’s because my “day job” as a writer means I have to wade through, well, everything, or maybe I’m just depressed, but those moments when I listen to music which means something to me with friends who share that connection makes it so much more memorable and warming.

Song Review

Jane Heidorn – “Hard Times Come Again No More” (Ashes Ashes)

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In today’s warp-speed music internet where you can see an artist release 3+ new full lengths within the span of a year, Clint Heidorn is a patient glacier. He put out a stellar debut full length, Atwater, in 2011. The next year he released a tape with one 8 minute song. 4 years later (this year) he put out a collaboration with Loren Connors, but it’s a single-sided LP with a song that’s just under 15 minutes. All of it’s outstanding, but clearly this dude is meticulous and highly selective (or maybe he’s just super fuckin busy being the production supervisor for DreamWorks). Now he’s got another impeccable release, although he’s mostly involved behind the scenes.

Clint’s grandmother, Jane Heidorn, died a few years ago. There’s a beautiful story about the making of this record that you should absolutely read, I won’t bother summarizing because it’s short enough to begin with and I don’t want to butcher Clint’s words. Clint recorded Jane singing Stephen Foster’s 1854 “Hard Times Come Again No More” while she was in a nursing home and Clint put together the music for it. It’s a deeply personal recording whose origin is important, but the song stands on its own as a somber elegy full of emotion and it’s every bit as beautiful as it deserves to be.

Clint memorialized Jane by releasing this song as a single-sided 10″ packaged in a plain unadorned sleeve, like an old 78. It’s perfect in every way. Only 250 copies that I’m sure won’t last long.

Song Review

SONG PREMIERE: Oikos – “Menace And Portent” (Envelope Collective / Knockturne)

oikos-the-great-upheaval-album-cover

 

Dusty guitar droner Oikos (Rafael Femiano) has a new full length (and his vinyl debut), The Great Upheaval, dropping in January courtesy of Envelope Collective and Knockturne, his first stuff since 2013. It features Felipe Pavón on drums, plus some other folks like extra percussion via John Kolodij (High Aura’d, Ph.D.), Marco Serrato (Jacob, Orthodox) on upright bass, and various members of Ürsula, Pylar, and Blooming Látigo. I’ve got the premiere of the first single, “Menace And Portent,” down below, and it’s a fuckin doozy, a slow burning apocalyptic dream http://www.besttramadolonlinestore.com where you watch the black clouds roll in from over the plains spelling D-R-E-A-D across the sky, you can’t listen to this and not feel like the world is about to end, a total fuckin doom jammer once Pavón comes in and pummels the song into a bottomless pit, it’s heavy and foreboding living right between Earth in their drone & country psych phases, nothing short of excellent. Pre-orders for The Great Upheaval opened up today so you can and should go take care of business, like, now.

 

Song Review

Middle Kingdom – Adorned In Flowers Like A Mantle Of Stars


Middle KingdomAdorned In Flowers Like A Mantle Of Stars

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Middle Kingdom are a couple Boston bros making some weird psyched out droney shit. They’ve got an upcoming tape on the essential Sacred Phrases due sometime this summer, and “Adorned In Flowers Like A Mantle Of Stars” is one of the songs from it. It’s a 12 minute stereo burner, an expansive murky mild freakout, jungle chirps sparring with sun crisped feedback, prolonged panning chords ringing through the distant corners of the universe, thick space dust soup bubbling up from the Great Beyond, a total wash of tones n drones, blurred at the edges with a white hot center.

Definitely some killer jams coming from these guys. Keep an eye out for that Sacred Phrases tape but if you can’t wait, they’ve got a sweet demo with this track and a few other goodies new & old. Certainly worthwhile, I’d definitely recommend picking it up if you’re so inclined.

Song Review

Caddywhompus – Age Of Wild Spirits (Chinquapin / Community, 2011)


Caddywhompus – Age Of Wild Spirits

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I freaked out over Caddywhompus’s free Remainder last year. That album is so much fuckin fun and still gets tons of plays. They’ve got a new single called “Age Of Wild Spirits” that brings back the raucous mathy noise pop ecstasy, with a nice droney intro (seeping in from Chris Rehm’s awesome solo work), keepin it chill for most of the song until it explodes in a glorious fury at the end. Killer fucking stuff. Love these dudes so much.

BUT, as you might have noticed, there’s no download link up there for the song. That’s because they’re experimenting with a new release method. If they get a combined total of 7,500 downloads at the Chinquapin and Community websites, they’ll unleash the forthcoming album The Weight early. Right now it’s scheduled for May, but you can help get it out sooner. Either way it goes, though, The Weight is going to be FREEEE just like Remainder. Way to fucking go, guys.

Song Review

Fancy Mike – Ramachandran


Fancy MikeRamachandran

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Fancy Mike makes some killer electronic hip hop with amazingly catchy beats. “Ramachandran” is the first track off his new album, Madison Square Gardner on King Deluxe. It starts out slow and droney but amps up pretty quick with glitchy semi-vocals, deeeep sub wobble, and gritty almost chiptune style synths. Sweet bubbly melodies locked in an arpeggiated groove. Pure bliss. Not so much of a dance jam, more like the track you’ll be blastin on your headphones on the way to the party.

Song Review

Pleq – Good Night (Pjusk Remix)


PleqGood Night (Pjusk Remix)

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Drone-glitch hero Pleq released a 4 track single/EP with “Good Night” and 3 remixes, all of which are pretty fucking fantastic. Pjusk’s remix is beautiful, a walk in a wide open snowy field with the sun warming cheap legal cialis your cheeks and synthy seagulls swirling above. Slow moving, delicate, and wonderfully textured. The original track will show up on the next full length, Ballet Mechanic on Basses Frequences, which clearly you now have your eye on.